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#2009809 - 01/06/13 01:39 AM Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation.
pianosur Offline
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Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
(This question was also posted on the Piano Forum; please check "Let-off buttons: not enough career" on that forum, to view previous post related to this. Thanks!!!).

On a grand, let-off buttons can't be adjusted for correct function. Let-off screws seems to be too long; buttons stops turning before achieving needed position.
Hammers and hammer knuckles are not too worn. Let-off button felts are not too thick. Hammers let-off now at about 10 mm from strings.
There are not independent let-off rail. Button screws are mounted on the main action rail, and buttons are "two cross holes" adjusting type.
I would like to know how could the piano come to this anomalous condition, and which is the best way to resolve the problem. I imagined re-place let-off screws deeper on action rail.

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#2009822 - 01/06/13 03:29 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
It sounds like a set of parts has been replaced that don't quite fit. A difference of 1-2mm in one place can give a difference of 6-7 mm elsewhere in the action. It might even be that only the set off buttons have been replaced, ( highly unlikely) which case, your intuition would be right. (the word 'obvious' disappears from the lexicon in many aspects of piano work and life in general, for that matter).

Some actions have adjustable wippen rails. Often, the screws that hold it in place can get loose and the rail could end up in the wrong position when the screws do get tightened. It is always a good idea to regulate 4-5 notes at various locations around the action first, so that minimal reworking has to be done should an anomalous situation such as this arise.

How much after touch do you have?

When the drop screws are adjusted, how much extra movement of the wippen is evident when the key bottoms out and does the action freely fit back in the case when the drop screws are adjusted? (you don't necessarily need to set the let off before settin the drop), just do a few here and there as a test.

It would help to know year, make and model. Some parts are simply not commercially available in the exact dimensions for some pianos . I remember one model where there wasn't much safety range left when let off and drop were set when it was new. This was only for a few days' production, but it can happen.

Test your intuitive feelings by replacing a few set off buttons here and there around the action, see what happens, it wouldn't hurt anything. Beware of excessive after touch which will stress the jack to breaking point.

That should be enough for now.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2009982 - 01/06/13 12:47 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
THe whippen rail is may be not in its original position, some rails are not secured, with time their screws may untighten. THen the knuckle is not positionned correctly letoff and drop are to be regulated (and springs) , thios can put the parts out of their normal regulation range

Reduced spread make the touch very heavy and unpleasant.

ENlarged one tend to lighten the touch but at some point you have too much friction, and the springs are not strong enough.

Normal spread depends of the action but there is a range availeable depending of the brand. between 112 and 114 on a recent Renner, but it can be more.

I would check the spread (distance between hammer and whippen center) and the lining of the knuckle in regard of the "knife mark" on the upper lever of the whippen


Edited by Kamin (01/06/13 12:51 PM)
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#2010020 - 01/06/13 01:57 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: Olek]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Kamin

I would check the spread (distance between hammer and whippen center) and the lining of the knuckle in regard of the "knife mark" on the upper lever of the whippen


For sure check the spread. Maybe the hammer set was not drilled correctly too.
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#2010304 - 01/06/13 11:00 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: rxd]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
rxd: I don't think someone replace let-off buttons, though I think -right now- that working on that items is the simplest solution.
I agree on regulating only few notes on the beginning to see what happens. But this problem with the let-off were there on that piano before I have done nothing.
I will check aftertouch next time I go to work on this piano. But my feeling is that when I regulate key deep to 10mm, aftertouch was almost completely missed. Have I to increase key deep to 10,5 or 11mm in this case?
I will look for more info about this piano and share it here in this great forum (and wonderful web site).
Suposed I will work on let off wires (screws), what is the best choice? I imagined take those screws out, make some milimeters deeper the original holes, and re-place the screws.
(Buttons are similar to common upright's capstains, with two perpendicular holes for inserting regulation tool.

THANKS to you and the others!!!

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#2010311 - 01/06/13 11:19 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: Olek]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Thank you Karmin!
I will check "spread" the sooner I can, and return to the forum.
The "knife mark" is that indented perpendicular line on the repetition lever, isn't it? I remember that were aligned to knuckles. I will check it again.

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#2010322 - 01/06/13 11:38 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Is there any way to know if hammers were or not correctly drilled?
Another question to all of you, wonderfull people: How can one verify if action itself is properly placed on key bed? (I refer mainly to final height of the complete action related to strings and so)
Is there any web page with info and drawings about action geometry and measures?
Thank you!

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#2010406 - 01/07/13 05:11 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: pianosur
rxd: I don't think someone replace let-off buttons, though I think -right now- that working on that items is the simplest solution.
I agree on regulating only few notes on the beginning to see what happens. But this problem with the let-off were there on that piano before I have done nothing.
I will check aftertouch next time I go to work on this piano. But my feeling is that when I regulate key deep to 10mm, aftertouch was almost completely missed. Have I to increase key deep to 10,5 or 11mm in this case?
I will look for more info about this piano and share it here in this great forum (and wonderful web site).
Suposed I will work on let off wires (screws), what is the best choice? I imagined take those screws out, make some milimeters deeper the original holes, and re-place the screws.
(Buttons are similar to common upright's capstains, with two perpendicular holes for inserting regulation tool.

THANKS to you and the others!!!


Possible enlarged spread, asking for more key dip

Possible knuckle farther than originally, making action ratio too low.
Just mount modern hammer/shank on an old Steinway and the letoff buttons will be too short, for instance...

checking hammer bore by the hammer center vs the strings height is enough, even in the ballpark, a few mm more or less should be accepted. but everything is adding, hammer size, spread, key ratio, stack position on the keys, etc.. if you align small mistakes on differnt parameters you can finish with the problem you mention.

knuckle and flange screw <> shank center <>knuckle location are indeed the most sensitive point, where the ratio is high little differences are making large changes.

You did tell what brnd of piano it is ? you talk of a 10 mm letoff I suppose it is a typo.

The knife mark is not showing "absolutely" the good position for the jack, more something with the whippen geometry. correct lining imply the hammer travel distance to be OK, jack lining correctly with knuckle, final jack position will vary depending of other parameters but spread alone is a good indication, as the position of the capstan on the whippen.

If the spread have enlarged, chances are that the jack have no space before touching tits stop felt


Edited by Kamin (01/07/13 05:33 AM)
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#2010439 - 01/07/13 06:55 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
James Carney Offline
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Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 433
Loc: new york city
Hi Pianosur,

Sounds like you haven't made the correct diagnosis - changing the position of the letoff buttons will most likely not solve the issue and will likely create more problems. An exception would be if the letoff rail itself has changed position due to loose screws or a previous tech's mistake. That could certainly cause the symptom you are describing.

Everyone keeps asking you some very simple questions that remain unanswered: What is the make and model of the piano? The serial # and year built? What work has been done in the past?

I would also suspect replacement hammers that were bored incorrectly, and/or that the replacement shanks have a knuckle center to flange centerpin distance that differs from the originals. These are only guesses though, and assume a normal regulation setup of 45mm (+ or -) hammer blow, 10mm (+ or -) keydip.

Check the hammer bore, knuckle center to shank flange center pin distance, and the action spread. (distance of wippen centerpin to hammershank centerpin). If you don't know what this means you (and the client) are probably better off referring this job to someone with more experience.
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#2010623 - 01/07/13 02:10 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: James Carney]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Hello James and Karmin. Please be patience with me!! That piano isn't close to were I live. The sooner posible I will answer all your questions about brand, model, spread, knuckle distance, etc.
Also it take me lot of time to translate from english, plus some unknown technical terminology!!!
THANKS!!!!!!!!

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#2010936 - 01/08/13 12:34 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: Olek]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
What I say is that because of this anomalous condition, I coudn´t regulate let off distance to less than about 10 or even 15 mm (from hammer tip to string) even though I drive some let-off buttons some milimeters further than its normal limits. (also, I crashed one of them...)
Can you please explain me this sentence?:
"checking hammer bore by the hammer center vs the strings height is enough" Does "Hammer center" refers to hammer shank center pin?
Tomorrow I´ll go to take photos and measures on the piano, and look out its model, year of production and so on.
Continued...


Edited by pianosur (01/08/13 12:39 AM)

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#2010949 - 01/08/13 01:46 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: James Carney]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Hi james! Now, with more time to read, to think and to answer you...
On this piano there is no special let-off rail. See on my first post.
Can you please tell me how I check "hammer bore"? what must I measure?
I appreciate all your advices. But believe me: there is not "someone with more experience" hundreds of kilometers around where we live.(Have you ever heard about Patagonia Argentina...?)
That is the main reason why I am becaming piano technician!!
And I immensely thanks you for help me on this adventure.
Sometimes piano owners tell me: "time ago cames some renowned pro and did some key regulations...".Then I take off some keys and see those paper punchings piled up ABOVE the cloth punchings...!


Edited by pianosur (01/08/13 01:53 AM)

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#2010951 - 01/08/13 01:50 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
Hammer bore is the distance from the center of the shank to the tip of the hammer.
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#2010994 - 01/08/13 05:20 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
More or less..
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#2011093 - 01/08/13 09:42 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
James Carney Offline
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Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 433
Loc: new york city
Be sure that all the flange screws are tight, including wippen flange screws. Check to ensure that all the action rail screws are tight, as well as keyframe screws (some makes, especially older pianos, require you to remove the keys for access.) Check the tightness of the stack screws to the keyframe as well. If any of the holes are stripped out (not uncommon) this can easily alter the geometry.

Another possibility is incorrect jack position, and/or repetition levers are set too high (introducing lost motion) so check that too.

Buena suerte!
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http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2011203 - 01/08/13 01:50 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: James Carney]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Hello James!!
Right now I am taking measures on the piano. Brand is H.Kriebel,Berlin. 686559 is the number writed on front of hammer rail. Year???
What does "stack" means?
Related to jack position, repetition lever,s height, and so on, I forgot to tell you that I have carefully done all those regulations according to Reblitz book. Until I arrive to those buttons...
Also, I suposse I have to say that this piano is a "baby grand"; not really a "grand". Here we call them "1/4 cola".
Later I will post the results of all my measurements.


Edited by pianosur (01/08/13 01:52 PM)

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#2011254 - 01/08/13 03:36 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
The "stack" is part of the action above the keys, with the wippens, hammers and shanks, and the rails and frame ends to hold them. H. Kriebel made pianos from 1863 to 1934. The number on the hammer rail is probably just for the action, not the piano, so I cannot give you an estimate of the age of the piano.
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#2011346 - 01/08/13 05:07 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: James Carney]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Be sure that all the flange screws are tight, including wippen flange screws. Check to ensure that all the action rail screws are tight, as well as keyframe screws (some makes, especially older pianos, require you to remove the keys for access.) Check the tightness of the stack screws to the keyframe as well. If any of the holes are stripped out (not uncommon) this can easily alter the geometry.

Another possibility is incorrect jack position, and/or repetition levers are set too high (introducing lost motion) so check that too.

James, on a grand, a too high lever does not induce lost motion , it mostly change the timing of the drop and helps the jack to go back easier, but the springs are compressed during the upward motion, the knucle rest on the jack (and on the lever)

Buena suerte!
_________________________
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#2011489 - 01/08/13 11:35 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: BDB]
pianosur Offline
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Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
I thought all those parts were called "action". Do you say action is "stack" plus keyboard?
Were must I look for the serial number?

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#2011491 - 01/08/13 11:43 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
The entire action is the keyboard, stack, and damper mechanism. The stack could be called the upper action, also. There are a lot of different terms that people will use.

The serial number is usually stamped on the plate, or embossed into the wood, perhaps on the soundboard. It could be on other parts of the piano, also.
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#2011616 - 01/09/13 09:03 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Hello friends!
Here is all I have recovered:

Maker: H. Kriebel, Berlin
Action maker: Lexon, Berlin

Hammer bore (from bass to treble):
First section: 49 to 47mm
Second section : 41mm
Third section: 41 to 42mm
Fourth section: 42 to 45mm

Knuckles:
Height: 9,5/10mm
Distance to center pin: 18mm
Distance to hammer head: 112mm

Key ratio:
From top of key front to balance rail: 225mm
From balance rail to capstan tip: 115mm

Spread: 112/113mm

Look at the pictures.
Drop screws are also out of range. And is imposible to adjust drop to 3mm from string, for example. Repetition lever hits against hammer flange!! Aftertouch? Nothing! t
Remember: I adjusted key dip to 10mm and hammer blow to 45mm
I begin to think that complete action is to much far from strings...

Enjoy this piano-puzzle!!! THANKS to all you!!!

PD: I couldn´t upload the photos. And I do read FAQ seccion. I´ll try later.

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#2011633 - 01/09/13 09:41 AM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
Knuckle is far from center pin, often goes with large spreads as 114 115 mm even 116 (Förster grands, with their 18mm knucke to center dimension, can have 11 mm key dip and 116 mm spread)

The pics should say what is going on better

Very short hammer bore, do you have the string's plane height ? hammer bore is of no value without hammer center height and string's height, they are by evidence very short (45 mm is YET a short bore)

Actions with so short bore should work fine , assuming it is coherent with hammer center height and string's height.

18 mm from the center is really rare, you may need 10,5 mm key dip, have a look at the sharps to white relation, at 10 mm, if your sharps are too high when they are at full dip you can believe that the keyboard need more key dip.

You have a relatively small Key ratio, at 1.95 (but accepteable) 2.03 is considered good for Renner action (why 0,03 ?)

there are mismatched parts somewhere. how did you install the jack to knuckle line ?

change the 16mm shanks on Steinways an you will need thicker letoff buttons

Reblitz cannot help on grand regulation, not really...


Edited by Kamin (01/09/13 01:02 PM)
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#2011716 - 01/09/13 01:58 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
On some old pianos, the action brackets are made of an alloy that changes dimensions. This could be the case or the brackets may have been replaced with the wrong size.

An experienced tech would cast an experienced eye over the action and look for new parts and go through a process of elimination. An example being, do the ends of the keys lift the dampers at a reasonably appropriate time? Initial contact at around 1/3 key travel. Does any part look newer? Tell tale signs are, the color of the wood and metal parts, different looking glue joints at the hammers and the trimming of the hammer shank behind the hammer.

If the hammers have not been shaped, you will see the string marks more towards the back of the centre of the tip of the hammer if the hamers are bored too short. This would also happen if the hammers are excessively worn.

How do the notes at the extremes of the action regulate?, there is often far less wear there.

You will most likely find a pencil line on the side of a hammer core at the end of a section that is on centre going through the core tip and extending to the strike point on the felt. Itf not, draw one or imagine oneThis should form a right angle to the strings when the hammer touches the strings unless the original hammers were raked and have been replaced with standard stock. .

I could go on like this for ever. Time for someone else to take over.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2011724 - 01/09/13 02:06 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
The hammer bore varies a lot, which would indicate that the hammers have worn and were filed unevenly. Usually there are only two bore lengths on a cross-strung, for the bass notes and for the treble notes.
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#2011726 - 01/09/13 02:16 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
sorry but no again , all depends but on most well build old grands the bore follows the string "plane (which is all but plane most often, plus jumps at the break between agrafes and capodastro...)

differences as large a 5-6 mm can be find, but most offten it is in the 2-3 mm range.

other brands consider that the action will accept a < 3mm difference in string height and use a medium dimension, based on the high/medium string's height.

then note 88 you can find some "undercentering", but generally as the medium hammers are bored 3 mm less than the usual distance this sort of auto correct- the higher hammers will be bored 90° then, while the medium ones are 91°

not easy to do so when boring, but it is good to be attentive to that.


good tip from RXD with the action brackets in "zamac" or soft alloy


Edited by Kamin (01/09/13 02:23 PM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2011757 - 01/09/13 03:20 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
pianosur Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 35
Loc: El Bolsón, Argentina
Here you have a link to the photos
Piano Photos
Now we have to wait some time for me to go and take more measures.
Diference between strings height and shank center pins must be somewhat equal to hammer bore, isn´t it?
Continued later. THANKS!!!

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#2011760 - 01/09/13 03:23 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: Olek]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Kamin
sorry but no again , all depends but on most well build old grands the bore follows the string "plane (which is all but plane most often, plus jumps at the break between agrafes and capodastro...)


Oh, really? Name one make of piano where the bore changes other than at the bass break!
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#2011769 - 01/09/13 03:44 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7169
Loc: France
Nevermind BDB, many European grands (special mention to Bechstein)..

The plates where way less straight beforethen, actually Bechstein still does.

The jump between agrafes and capo is also common, of course today those parameters are more under control (particularely with vacuumed plates, on a Yamaha if you have 200 mm string's height you have them all along.

Steinway have a flexible frame and a crowned keybed, that goes in direction of correction, but I have seen some (very rare) with hammer bore tweaked (at the factory I suppose )

Generally speaking it is just considered normal setup to have the hammer shanks at the same orientation at letoff moment , and hammer centers lining. only the hammer bore allows this (plus little cheats on stack positionning)

"Tolerance" of the action is about 3mm, some sections being more sensitive to bore than others.


Edited by Kamin (01/09/13 03:51 PM)
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#2011775 - 01/09/13 03:53 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
Bechstein does not alter their bore distance. Neither do Bösendorfer nor Blüthner.
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#2011853 - 01/09/13 06:44 PM Re: Let-off buttons: not enough career for correct regulation. [Re: pianosur]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Had a look at the photos. In the hammer close up photo #10 it shows a lot of material has been used up off that hammer set. The strike point is missing more that 50% of the original felt material.

Proper regulation cannot be completed; you will have to leave some of the tolerances wide unless the hammer set is changed out.

Shaping this hammer set will make the measurements even wider.

I am wondering if there are shims underneath the action brackets to compensate for hammer wear....
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Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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