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#2018030 - 01/20/13 08:17 PM How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway?
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
OK - maybe a silly question... I do not want to install an optical/digital mute system, but I am considering an 1890 upright Steinway in decent condition for a song of a price for a piano for the home (amateurs/beginners playing).

Also in considering is a Kawai with the middle practice pedal that locks in place. Of course, that changes the tone, but also makes the piano much quieter. The Kawai piano is a lot more expensive than the other one.

So, if I get the Steinway, what are my options to 'quiet' it during practice if that is desired? It's an 1890 model with two pedals....

Thanks.

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#2018034 - 01/20/13 08:33 PM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10761
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Touch the keys without pressing them down.
_________________________
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#2018069 - 01/20/13 11:06 PM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
There are aftermarket practice rails that can likely be installed on the Steinway. They operate similar to practice rails found on the Kawai; they just are not pedal operated.
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#2018084 - 01/20/13 11:58 PM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
DanS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 470
Those practice rails are just wool or felt. You can buy one here or you could probably just get a piece of felt from a fabric store and make it.
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2018094 - 01/21/13 12:26 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6035
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Ezra
OK - maybe a silly question... I do not want to install an optical/digital mute system, but I am considering an 1890 upright Steinway in decent condition for a song of a price for a piano for the home (amateurs/beginners playing).

Also in considering is a Kawai with the middle practice pedal that locks in place. Of course, that changes the tone, but also makes the piano much quieter. The Kawai piano is a lot more expensive than the other one.

So, if I get the Steinway, what are my options to 'quiet' it during practice if that is desired? It's an 1890 model with two pedals....

Thanks.


Ezra - I thought we addressed this in your earlier thread.

But now it appears you're looking at a Kawai with the middle practice pedal instead of a Weber.
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#2018162 - 01/21/13 04:05 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1047
Loc: Reseda, California
What percentage of the time would you need it to be quiet? If it's 100%, maybe pass on the Steinway. If you can use it unmodified for much of the time, consider also getting a digital for headphone practice. Having more than one instrument to practice on improves your ability to adapt to whatever you might need to play on.
_________________________
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Knabe Grand # 10927
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#2018184 - 01/21/13 06:39 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: JohnSprung]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
What percentage of the time would you need it to be quiet? If it's 100%, maybe pass on the Steinway. If you can use it unmodified for much of the time, consider also getting a digital for headphone practice. Having more than one instrument to practice on improves your ability to adapt to whatever you might need to play on.


Would probably not need it to be 'quiet' more than 25% of the time. Thanks.

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#2018185 - 01/21/13 06:40 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: carey]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey

But now it appears you're looking at a Kawai with the middle practice pedal instead of a Weber


The Weber fell through; so I may get the Kawai. That is for my son.

The Steinway I stumbled across, so I may get in *addition* as it will be a side-project for me.

All good. Appreciate the advice. Thanks.

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#2018304 - 01/21/13 10:51 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20761
Loc: Oakland
Steinway uprights are lousy candidates for a "side-project." They use non-standard parts which are difficult to work with.
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#2018320 - 01/21/13 11:13 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 442
Loc: Oregon Coast
DanS gave you the best reply.
The 'Quiet Keys' installation is fairly straightforward and easy.

I've put several into pianos through the years. I would suggest a technician handle the installation, and mark the correct tuning pins for the system to be mounted on. Routing the on-off cable through the piano to the keybed can be a wee bit tricky for a non-tech.

They easily remove for tuning and service. Never had a major problem with them! The only caveat would be that let-off must be just a 'tick' farther than on normal usage. The felt adds a little to the needs of let-off, but on an older well-used piano, that is not likely to be an issue.

Good luck in your search!
I remain,
Yr. humble and ob't svt.,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#2018346 - 01/21/13 11:41 AM Re: How to mute/practice quietly with a 100 yr old Steinway? [Re: Ezra]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I am not sure I agree that the after-market mute rail will work.

Steinway uprights of that era usually had six or eight overdampers in the low tenor. If this is the case with this pianos (likely) then installing a felt mute rail will not work.

A technician needs to assess the piano to see if a mute rail can be installed.
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
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Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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