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#2020425 - 01/24/13 02:50 PM The right wire for late 19th century grands
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Is there a way to test original wire to help choose correct replacement wire?

I have two Chickerings on my plate. A 109-C, 1896, and a scale 19, 1867. The 109 is underway, the 19 is in the contemplation phase.

Not too long ago, we had two choices in wire. More sililar to each other than different. Mapes or Roslau. The question of proriety was minor, as there was no real choice. Today there are more options, like Paullelo. But options mean choice, and choice requires information if it is not to be a blind choice.

I have the original wire from the 109. Does anyone know of a test to determine the best match in new wire?
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#2020449 - 01/24/13 03:13 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
You can try to determine the young's modulus of original wire, but as it is old the numbers will be higher.

Despite that you can see that some wire was softer. (others where also harder than today, possibly around 1900 (higher carbon content)

That should be interesting to compare old Roslau
And recent one. May be that could help to determine at large the original modulus of old type wires.




Edited by Olek (01/24/13 03:33 PM)
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#2020452 - 01/24/13 03:14 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
pianolive Offline
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Posts: 325
Loc: Europe
I have had good experience with Paullelo strings, and he is very helpful with information about which strings to use.

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#2020469 - 01/24/13 03:20 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Larry Buck Offline
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Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Tensile Strength test.

There was tremendous competition in the 1800's for the strongest wire.

Interestingly, the stronger the wire, the stiffer.

Regardless of wire though, resulting tension will be related to mass, string length and pitch. If you leave the wire sized unchanged, the piano will be under the same stress or tension.

The character of sound will be related to the stiffness of the wire.

Feel the wire in your hands.
Test the tensile strength by loading it until it breaks. Choose a wire of similar strength.
There may be a simple scientific method for measuring stiffness, I have to profess ignorance here.

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#2020494 - 01/24/13 03:44 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
you rub the string with a rosin impregnated cloth and measure the pitch of the longitudinal wave obtained.

Have to be compared with a formula using wire jauge and lenght.

I guess result approximate at 10%

Very convenient have a method with strings under tension

http://www.lulu.com/shop/jean-louchet/le-guide-du-cordage/paperback/product-16066859.html (use Amazon the delivery is better)





Edited by Olek (01/24/13 05:55 PM)
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#2020562 - 01/24/13 04:45 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
RestorerPhil Offline
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Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Would the long term tension on 90-110 year old piano wire affect its stiffness?
I would think so.
Would that same factor affect its tensile strength?
One would assume so, since they are more likely to break.

It seems to me, due to these factors, that any evaluation of the old wire, as a means to choose the new wire, would be difficult and likely deceptive.

I share an interest in the subject due to a small grand which I am doing soon. From what I understand, the choice of wire type will be very important to getting a clean sound. It may even be that a deliberate choice to lower tension via lower gauges with a softer wire will be part of my answer for this piano.
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#2020592 - 01/24/13 05:20 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
The basic analysis today is to look at the breakin strain % with the actual scale.

You can find high tension ld scales (with lo iH ) and low tension scale s(as Bechsteins ) high iH

To use soft wire you have to stay on low BS% then it raise from note 49 60% minored BS to the top at 80%

But I know at last one major modern brand that use high BS% yet in the mediums, and I find similar data on 1915 French piano (very even progression, but very high solicitation)

That plays a role in the mechanical behavior of the wire, better flow of tone, an important parameter, but the numbers we use in Europe are computed after a lowering of 20 25% of the breakin strain limit of the wire (a security taking in account the bends and the coils)

So it is difficult to compare numbers on both sides of the pond..
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#2020599 - 01/24/13 05:31 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Larry Buck Offline
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Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
Would the long term tension on 90-110 year old piano wire affect its stiffness?
I would think so.
Would that same factor affect its tensile strength?
One would assume so, since they are more likely to break.

It seems to me, due to these factors, that any evaluation of the old wire, as a means to choose the new wire, would be difficult and likely deceptive.

I share an interest in the subject due to a small grand which I am doing soon. From what I understand, the choice of wire type will be very important to getting a clean sound. It may even be that a deliberate choice to lower tension via lower gauges with a softer wire will be part of my answer for this piano.


Likely there is some change. I would not let that deter me from investigating how the original wire behaves.

Chickering, for a time, recorded one page per piano notes on many details, including the brand of wire they used.

You can likely get a copy of the page from the log book from the Smithsonian American History Museum in DC.

Your piano may or may not have the extended details, it is worth a call to see.

Details of how music wire was made and it's tensile strengths are well recorded in the 1800's.

The MFA in Boston has a very good Chickering collection. Darcey Kironin, Curator, would be the person to contact. He has very good resources there.
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#2020605 - 01/24/13 05:38 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
RestorerPhil Offline
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Loc: Georgia, USA
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#2020622 - 01/24/13 05:54 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
I will give you the formula, which is quite simple.

My idea was that may be the stiffening due to age could be evaluated.

Precision is out of question, and, for instance we are not even sure of the original pitch of the instrument - pitch change the sollicitation of the wire, hence change the BS% and change the iH a little.
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#2020633 - 01/24/13 06:16 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Craig Hair Offline
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Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Originally Posted By: Olek
you rub the string with a rosin impregnated cloth and measure the pitch of the longitudinal wave obtained.



I am deeply intrigued. I like the notion of getting the wire to speak for itself. I am ordering that book tomorrow.
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Hampshire Piano
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#2020644 - 01/24/13 06:32 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Larry Buck]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck

Regardless of wire though, resulting tension will be related to mass, string length and pitch. If you leave the wire sized unchanged, the piano will be under the same stress or tension.


Larry,
thanks for responding.

We have touched on this before. Does not an increase in the strength of a wire come with an increase in the density of the wire, and a greater mass per unit of length? Would this not require an increase in tension to reach pitch?
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Hampshire Piano
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hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
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#2020646 - 01/24/13 06:39 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
I have to ask because I do not know.

What is sollicitation?
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Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
or write something worth the reading.
S. Clemens

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#2020656 - 01/24/13 06:53 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
BDB Online   content
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What sort of results do you want? Do you want the best possible piano it could be, or something close to what you think it might have been like when it was new?
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#2020665 - 01/24/13 07:13 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Originality. The customer is interested in experiencing the piano the way it was when new. Chickering sold thousands of these pianos for very good money. He wants to hear what it was that kept Chickering flourishing for so many years. Perhapse that is the best possible piano, or at least the best possible 100 year old Chickering.
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Hampshire Piano
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hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
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#2020675 - 01/24/13 07:36 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Craig Hair
I have to ask because I do not know.

What is sollicitation?


whomeA crime in most places! whome
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#2020688 - 01/24/13 08:05 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
I knew I was going to play somebody's straight-man asking that question.
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Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
or write something worth the reading.
S. Clemens

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#2020699 - 01/24/13 08:22 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Craig,

I could NOT resist!

We did a 1881 Chickering scale 93 thirty years ago and dropped most of the gauges back .002" and added half sizes. The plate was massive, but the sound board assembly was dainty. I wondered if the piano ever could have had real down bearing. It was as if they were going on the premises that maximum string mass was the answer to all things and if you could build a plate to hold the tension, all was well.

Weird job. The first rebuilder had passed away and I took on at least three contracts to finish up. This one and, I think, two upright players.

From my notes which I have just looked over, that steel was STRONG stuff. Smallest size was 14!
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#2020788 - 01/24/13 10:37 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Oh, yeah,
Chickering was not kidding around. I'm not planning on changing the string scale. That is why I'm trying to determin the proper stiffnesss of wire to install. If the stiffness affeccts the tone, as Larry said, then I don't want to use a wire any stiffer than what is right.

The board does seem to be a bit more compliant than a Steinway. And from what I could tell from teardown measurements, Chickering employed a one to one ratio between crown and bearing in this 109. Once again, no messing around. though I would think a high compliance board could handle that type of bearing without choking.

Did you find that in yours? The 1867 scale 19 has a board that looks like a guitar bottom. Thin little triangular ribs spaced about 10 inches apart. I've never seen anything like it, and I cant wait to recrown it and hear what it sounded like.
_________________________
Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
or write something worth the reading.
S. Clemens

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#2020806 - 01/24/13 11:22 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Paulello has a typogram, available to download for free, which can help you determine what wire to use. You will have to measure the existing scale and input the data to the typogram. Here: http://stephenpaulello.com/en/typogramme
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#2020831 - 01/25/13 12:22 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
BDB Online   content
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Original Chickering scales from that period were determined by tradition and reckoning, and perhaps a bit of experimentation, just like other pianos of the time. We can do better these days.

Wire changed a lot back then. There was a chart in some book I read, probably Edwin Good's, giving the breaking strengths of wire from various periods in the 1800s, and it increased quite a bit as time went on.
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#2020890 - 01/25/13 04:18 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Craig Hair
I have to ask because I do not know.

What is sollicitation?


Send me 100 USD by Paypal and I tell you wink


Stress rate, on the typogram
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#2020970 - 01/25/13 08:08 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Roy123 Offline
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Registered: 09/20/04
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Loc: Massachusetts
I'd have to say that I'm a bit skeptical about all this talk about the exact wire type being important. There are really 3 inherent parameters of the wire that are important. I say inherent, because, for the moment, I want to defer thoughts about how well the wire was manufactured.

The three parameters are density (mass per unit volume), Young's modulus (sometimes called the modulus of elasticity, or the tensile modulus), and the yield strength. The modulus of elasticity is a measure of how much force is required to stretch the material a certain amount--one could think of it as stiffness. The yield point is the amount of strain the material can take before it starts to permanently deform.

The density of all steels is so close that for our purposes we can consider them to be the same. The modulus of all steels is essentially the same. The modulus for the stronger grades of stainless steel (400 series) is about 3% less than steel.

The yield point varies not only for the particular grade of steel, but also its temper. Many people don't realize that the tempering process only affects the yield point, but not the modulus. So, basically, all wire that would be suitable for piano strings has essentially the same stiffness, and the same density--it is really only the yield point that varies. Does variation in yield strength really affect sound. Well, I'm skeptical. Remember that all piano wire is tensioned well below the yield point.

Of course, we still have to consider the quality of the wire. The best wire would be extremely consistent both within any given length and between different batches. It's physical dimensions should be accurate and repeatable. It should have a smooth, shiny surface to help inhibit rust.


Edited by Roy123 (01/25/13 08:10 AM)

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#2020973 - 01/25/13 08:12 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Original Chickering scales from that period were determined by tradition and reckoning, and perhaps a bit of experimentation, just like other pianos of the time. We can do better these days.


Well,now,
let's not think of our predecessors as cavemen knapping pianos out of flint. If, as you say, there was no calculation involved in the creation of these scales, then that leaves only tonal results as a guide. And the tonal results are what was being sold. My personal quest is to hear these pianos for what they were. My fear is that through modification all the personality will be wrung out of the piano. Back in the day decisions were made and fortunes bet on them. I want to hear what they were so confident about.


Originally Posted By: BDB
Wire changed a lot back then. There was a chart in some book I read, probably Edwin Good's, giving the breaking strengths of wire from various periods in the 1800s, and it increased quite a bit as time went on.


I have two Chickering scale77 9'4s in my space at the moment. One is from 1867, the other from 1897. The two are dramaticly different for all their similarities. The 67 has a bent rim, the 97 is a sectional. Both are all original, so the evolution of the wire and the scale should be apparent. Someday, when I have a free month, I plan on doing a comparative anatomy study.
_________________________
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Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
or write something worth the reading.
S. Clemens

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#2021058 - 01/25/13 11:04 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
BDB Online   content
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The problem is that the tonal results of the stringing scale were modified by the voicing process. Poor stringing scales required more voicing, just to begin to have what they considered adequate tonal results. If you get a copy of Piano Tone Building, which is probably available from Del, you can see that this was a concern.

If you restring a few pianos, and rescale a few pianos, you begin to understand what differences rescaling makes. The results are subtile, but probably closer to what the early makers were aiming for. I have rescaled a Chickering from about 1890, and it has required very little voicing, and stays in tune very well. The main difference is an improvement in the transition from the bass to the treble, which is a problem with many old pianos.
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#2021071 - 01/25/13 11:27 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Roy123]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Roy123
I'd have to say that I'm a bit skeptical about all this talk about the exact wire type being important. There are really 3 inherent parameters of the wire that are important. I say inherent, because, for the moment, I want to defer thoughts about how well the wire was manufactured.

The three parameters are density (mass per unit volume), Young's modulus (sometimes called the modulus of elasticity, or the tensile modulus), and the yield strength. The modulus of elasticity is a measure of how much force is required to stretch the material a certain amount--one could think of it as stiffness. The yield point is the amount of strain the material can take before it starts to permanently deform.

The density of all steels is so close that for our purposes we can consider them to be the same. The modulus of all steels is essentially the same. The modulus for the stronger grades of stainless steel (400 series) is about 3% less than steel.

The yield point varies not only for the particular grade of steel, but also its temper. Many people don't realize that the tempering process only affects the yield point, but not the modulus. So, basically, all wire that would be suitable for piano strings has essentially the same stiffness, and the same density--it is really only the yield point that varies. Does variation in yield strength really affect sound. Well, I'm skeptical. Remember that all piano wire is tensioned well below the yield point.

Of course, we still have to consider the quality of the wire. The best wire would be extremely consistent both within any given length and between different batches. It's physical dimensions should be accurate and repeatable. It should have a smooth, shiny surface to help inhibit rust.


The yeld point have been studied, I was also sceptikal until in an exchange with the director of a very reputed German factory, he confirmed to me it was an important parameter, assuring to me they begin a 50% (lowered yeld point in that computation) then going up to 80% in the medium range (I hear you US tech having the heair dressed on head !)

Hence 80% from there up to the high treble.
Since then, when I tune or listen to those pianos, I notice how the high mediums and the treble are crisp, clear and the strings react so fast to the hammer impact.

I measured the iH lowering also, with a few Hz raise in pitch even Tunelab can show you a lowering of iH.

Ther have been studies tending to prove that the more the string is near its breaking poin, the more it makes a well build spectra.

The other parameters, as you say, does not change much (mass of steel) , remains iH and BS% , which are linked.

AN old piano mounted with modern wire, the yeld point will be so low that the tone is too inharmonic and also nasal and hard.

"Soft" wire of old times was BTW way richer and warmer than the ones we have today.

PS I finally understand that the more you tense a steel wire, the more it is resilient, which by evidence is good for the tone, the more tense wire is more elastic than the less tense .. less flexible, more elastic


Edited by Olek (01/25/13 11:31 AM)
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#2021075 - 01/25/13 11:40 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
BDB Online   content
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Percentage of breaking strength depends almost entirely on the length of the string, no matter what the gauge. Inharmonicity varies according to the gauge of the string. The percentage of breaking strength therefore has almost no effect on inharmonicity.
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#2021088 - 01/25/13 12:04 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
You may want to test that on a real scaling spreadsheet BDB (or I dont use the good term) Thicker gauge does not change much the BS, but not all gauges have the same.

it depends of the level of annealing of the wire, and the softness/hardness of the steel.

Softer steel have a lower level of BS

the idea of dealing with it induce choosing different wire quality, or choosing that when the plate is designed.

Tension have an effect on harmonicity
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#2021100 - 01/25/13 12:31 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
BDB Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Olek
You may want to test that on a real scaling spreadsheet BDB...


I have checked a spreadsheet. You are wrong.
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#2021102 - 01/25/13 12:34 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
Roy123 Offline
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Registered: 09/20/04
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Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: BDB
Percentage of breaking strength depends almost entirely on the length of the string, no matter what the gauge. Inharmonicity varies according to the gauge of the string. The percentage of breaking strength therefore has almost no effect on inharmonicity.


You are correct, however given that a scale designer might be looking for a given tension, then for a longer string, the diameter must be reduced to maintain a given tension. The net result of the longer string and smaller diameter would be less inharmonicity. I suspect this is why people think that a string tensioned to a greater % of its yield point produces a clearer tone--it's not really the % of yield strength that's the issue, it's rather the longer, thinner string.


Edited by Roy123 (01/25/13 12:38 PM)

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#2021108 - 01/25/13 01:03 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
it is the mechanical behaviour of the wire that change depending of the level of stress it is subjected to. This was examined by acousticians and physicians before piano technicians begin to think of "rescaling"

this is something about how the elastic energy stocked within the wire behave


Edited by Olek (01/25/13 01:08 PM)
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#2021118 - 01/25/13 01:22 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Roy123 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Olek
it is the mechanical behaviour of the wire that change depending of the level of stress it is subjected to. This was examined by acousticians and physicians before piano technicians begin to think of "rescaling"

this is something about how the elastic energy stocked within the wire behave


I remain unconvinced. Show me the research.

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#2021131 - 01/25/13 01:39 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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I tuned for a couple of physicians the other day. Neither have ever looked into the mechanical behavior of wire. They spend their time seeing patients.
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#2021146 - 01/25/13 02:12 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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That is because they dont speak French wink
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#2021147 - 01/25/13 02:17 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Isaac,

La personne est un physicien n'est pas un médecin.

In English it is physicist.
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#2021206 - 01/25/13 04:04 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Thank you Dan !

Valette et C. Cuesta, « Mécanique de la corde vibrante », Hermès, 1993.

original works on violin strings by Coulon

I wish i can find the abstracts, it seems to be difficult.

BTW the piano string tone is characterized by a "double decreasing" , it seem to be common term in the literature.
Coupling on a moving bridge make polarization on both planes, hence beats or double decreasing of the partials.

WHile this paraameter is evident to anyone listening well I cannot understand why it is never/rarely explained in the unison tuning descriptions.

Most of the descriptions I see talk of total coupling, like if the sound could be "on" or "off" and beats an absolute evil.

A single string is producing some sort of beat by itself, due to the way it behave.

That beat can be fight or used while tuning. when tuning 2 strings coupling via the bridge the tuner may modify the delay before horizontal polarization, or something similar ...
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#2021541 - 01/26/13 09:08 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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This question about the stiffness of piano wire, as it would have been when new on old pianos, brings up a broader issue for me.

Among the best scaled pianos of the world today, are they using the differing types of wire which are itemized in the Paulello Typogram as X,M,O,1,and 2 ? Isaac has replied that he personally spoke with one German company that does. This lends credibility.[Correction: Isaac corrected me to clarify: The manufacturer tended to use the same wire, but use the higher tensions with hard wire to achieve a closer approach to the yield point of that wire. That is an agreement with the theory related to yield point, but not an agreement with the value of using modified wire.]

In America, I would suspect that Mason & Hamlin might have gone into research on this as they reworked their classic designs and resurrected them for production. Does anyone have information on M&H or other companies in relation to this. The basic issue seems to be whether the very minute choices as to alloy and tempering (as they pertain to yield strength) are worthwhile in establishing the very foundation of tone.

If these fine choices are legitimate, then one would logically follow this path, if trying to change and improve an old scale: [This would not apply to Craig, since his objective is original scale and original personality of the instrument.]
1. Measure, then generate the new scale.
2. Analyze via the Paulello T.
3. String the piano with the wire giving the desired %. This would involve several types of wire across the scale.
I think that this discussion has basically concluded that the tension of the wire in that scale would not be where the change would lie. The change would be how close the strings would be, at tuned tension, to their yield point.

This seems to be the theory in application in a nutshell.


Edited by RestorerPhil (01/26/13 10:02 AM)
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#2021546 - 01/26/13 09:17 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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Phil no manufacturer I talk with use different stiffness wire they all use Roslau anx there is no choice, one stiffness only.

I just talked with one about the level of constrain/stress the wire is submited to and was said it was an important parameter (not the only one) .
Well I will say it, it was Mr Sauter who told me they attain 80% of the strain in the mediums, where usually we are with more moderate strain (but I have seen old scales with such strain in the mediums, depite soft wire)

Since then it is a mistery to me, as too much stress is as bad for the tone than not enough. That said the Sauter pianos have a high tension scale and their medium is very "fast" and crisp.

It is just that I will not be surprized now if I find such high level of stress on a scale. (that did not happen and I did not have the chance to see a Sauter scale so my witnessing is good for what is worth, please dont misunderstand me ...

In those older times the same thing happens, only one quality of wire was used at a time in a factory ,eventually the bass strings can be wound on another wire if the bass maker is external to the factory and he used Poehlmann wire for instance , when the factory use Roslau (both existed for some time) or other brand of wire as they where present in the beginning of 1900, slowly stopping production until one only remains (and piano wire is 3% or 5% or the production of the wire maker )

Paulello stress us to use different type of wire, insisting on the advantage of an even progression of the constrain.

It is related to relatively recent work from theoricians, but for instance Paulello wire and Roslau wire have a different spectra and enveloppe so if you begin to mix types you better use the same product on the whole piano, I have mixed types, Paulello and Roslau, the transition may happen at a plate break and I may think "registers" if not the change in spectra is somehow noticeable.

Paulello scales are very smooth in progression, having soft wire to raise the level of strain on the first plain wire (often under 40%BS if you use Roslau) is of some help.

Then I use mostly Roslau that seem to bring a different fundamental to partials ratio and a more evolving enveloppe.

If the piano you have used softer wire, you have no much choice, Roslau strings in the mediums if under 40% is really awful and nasal.

There is a nickel plated version of Paulello wire, that may have a different spectra, I understnd the W&L producer use them in their "Feurich" line of products , for the treble.

In the treble, you will see that most pianos need or may accept modern wire as Roslau or Paulello M.

As it was written above, as the scale is "set" even if you lower the tension, oor raise it, you will not change the BS percentage much.

If you want to use modern wire, you may prefer to lower the wire gauge so the tension and iH lower.

For instance theiH on the A4 of a 1920 Pleyel could be 6.5 originally (yet high) if you keep the diameter hence tension it raise to 7.2 with Roslau wire.

if you lower the tension using 2 jauge less you will attain 6.6 but the tone will be less powerful.

The BS percentage lower if you mix wire types, what change at the same time is the elongation of the wire, this parameter is very important for the tuning to stay put when the piano is submitted to heat, dryness, etc...




Edited by Olek (01/26/13 09:57 AM)
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#2021557 - 01/26/13 10:01 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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old pianos have often not the raise in tension we see in the modern ones, lot of tension in the low mediums as soon as possible, then a smooth slant of tension lowering. Modern pianos have a raise in tension in the last treble section (from which note ?)
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#2021559 - 01/26/13 10:03 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
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Thanks for that correction, Isaac.

I edited my post to which you refer to show that clarification.
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#2021566 - 01/26/13 10:15 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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As older builders had only access to one wire quality at a time, I suggest that at last one may analize the scale for tension iH and BS yeld stretch(I always forget that term)

Most old German pianos can use modern wire
Old French pianos (and not so old) used "Firminy wire" for most of them.
This wire is softer than Roslau, but strangely seem to have an excellent breakin strain level.

If your old scale have enough tension allowed you have no real problems , only choices between more iH and less iH.

If the scale is for instance a 50 Kg scale you may need soft wire.
In that case it cannot be bad to mix the types.
idem for the basses, the first basses have a low level of yesd stretch usually , if you lower it even more by using stiffer wire, the basses will be more inharmonic, not avery good choice.

But our bass makers know how to obtain good basses in many cases, for instance using methods known as TF65.to detremine the thicknesses.

I would not be surprised if some of the pianos at the turn of 1900 used high carbon content wire. I have heard some old Bechstein that had visibly a wire producing way more iH than Roslau, it can be perceived despite time (?)

I just read when looking for information on those yeld stretch parameters, that the piano wire is not annealed a lot at the moment it is mounted in the instrument, and that the annealing is finished with the help of the tension.

This may possibly relate to the yesld strech ratio in some way...
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#2021674 - 01/26/13 01:35 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
RestorerPhil Offline
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Quote:
I just read when looking for information on those yeld stretch parameters, that the piano wire is not annealed a lot at the moment it is mounted in the instrument, and that the annealing is finished with the help of the tension.


Isaac,
Here, did you mean to say that the tempering is finished by the tension, rather than annealing (softening)? Normally the process is ...
a) anneal, meaning to heat then slowly cool in controlled fashion
b) harden,meaning to heat, then cool quickly in oil or other liquid
c) temper, meaning to evenly heat to a set temperature for a set amount of time, according to the work purpose of the metal


Edited by RestorerPhil (01/26/13 03:23 PM)
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#2021686 - 01/26/13 01:57 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
RestorerPhil Offline
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And then the lady asked,

"Well, how much extra will this fancy wire cost me?"

(And THAT'S when the fight started!)



Clawing and scratching at the back of my mind has been this practical consideration: I can imagine that specialty wire shipped from Italy - not exactly a country known for competition and high efficiency in business of late - would cost at least four times the cost of commonly available Mapes or Schaff wire, and probably much, much more that Roslau.

Someone? 'Fess up on the cost involved.
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#2021698 - 01/26/13 02:31 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
Quote:
I just read when looking for information on those yeld stretch parameters, that the piano wire is not annealed a lot at the moment it is mounted in the instrument, and that the annealing is finished with the help of the tension.


Isaac,
Here, did you mean to say that the tempering is finished by the tension, rather than annealing (softening)? Normally the process is ...
a) anneal,
b) harden,
c) temper.


Thanks for correcting me. I have to check again, but the sence was hardened, hence temper.

Then each new pass in the wire making machine harden the steel, to the point it have to be passed in a hot bath so the steel is soft and can be made thinner.
That is the process , I suppose that no hardening is done by cooking , tha annealing create a harder layer around the core of the wire.
The bath is a lead bath..
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#2021700 - 01/26/13 02:35 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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The cost of the wire is not so much more than Roslau, but as different types are used you may need a few rolls more than usual.

I believe you can buy them locally.
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#2021716 - 01/26/13 03:07 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
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Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
'Fess up on the cost involved.


Arno Patin is the US distributer[url=http://www.arnopianos.com/][/url]
I just ordered some type O @ $28/lb roll unplated, and $42/lb roll nickel plated.

Jim Ialeggio
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#2021719 - 01/26/13 03:19 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
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Lead melts at 621F, but doesn't boil until over 3100F. Due to that wide range of possible temperatures for a lead bath, it could definitely be used to soften wire between drawing/machining stages. FIB Belgium is a supplier of such equipment, using a double vessel lead bath setup. SOLO in Switzerland is another. Since tempering temperatures for carbon steel range from around 400F to 640F, the lead bath could not be used for tempering, except at the "blue" end of the color range - that being a considerable amount of tempering. When you heat too far beyond the blue range, you are getting closer to annealing again - not useful for piano wire.

The later stage - tempering - takes quenched wire from that brittle stage and softens it slightly, leaving it more useful, flexible, but remaining hard to the degree desirable for the use of that metal. One could think of it as partial re-softening (but more complicated than that). In the case of piano wire, it is imaginable to me that a wire softened through tempering to a given point would then, as it stretched under tension, regain a little hardness/stiffness.

I will try to add to my earlier notation to include this. (Any metallurgical engineers, feel free to jump in here. I have only known one guy with that particular degree.)
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#2021726 - 01/26/13 03:33 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: jim ialeggio]
RestorerPhil Offline
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Now that is info we can chew on!

Thank you, Jim.

So, as a comparison, these specialty wires cost about two and a half times what Mapes Gold or Roslau cost. And Roslau is only 5-6% more than Mapes. That is comparing 1-pound rolls of those two brands coming from Schaff Piano Supply.

Buy just what you need and keep your powder (and your stringing wire) dry!! wink
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#2021731 - 01/26/13 03:49 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
Lead melts at 621F, but doesn't boil until over 3100F. Due to that wide range of possible temperatures for a lead bath, it could definitely be used to soften wire between drawing/machining stages. FIB Belgium is a supplier of such equipment, using a double vessel lead bath setup. SOLO in Switzerland is another. Since tempering temperatures for carbon steel range from around 400F to 640F, the lead bath could not be used for tempering, except at the "blue" end of the color range - that being a considerable amount of tempering. When you heat too far beyond the blue range, you are getting closer to annealing again - not useful for piano wire.

The later stage - tempering - takes quenched wire from that brittle stage and softens it slightly, leaving it more useful, flexible, but remaining hard to the degree desirable for the use of that metal. One could think of it as partial re-softening (but more complicated than that). In the case of piano wire, it is imaginable to me that a wire softened through tempering to a given point would then, as it stretched under tension, regain a little hardness/stiffness.

I will try to add to my earlier notation to include this. (Any metallurgical engineers, feel free to jump in here. I have only known one guy with that particular degree.)


Thank you, it was the first time I have seen written that the wire harden due to tension. We experiment the evolving of tone between new installed string and the same, massaged (strongly with a hard wooden block and preferently to produce some heat I was said , from a respected high level string's specialist - but it could be just an old trick without good effects on tone)

after a few pitch raise and tunings the tone is very different and begin to be nice, let's say a few days after stringing.

Knowing that some metallurgical process happens then that change the consistency of the wire, allow to experiment.

I once used the maximum over pull on new wire (raising so to be nearer of the grey zone before plasticity, then leaving the wire that way for 8 hours, and tune back to normal pitch.

The result was a very clear tone, with more partials.
A little thin may be. possibly more iH.

I regret I did not measure iH before and after, but I will, that experiment is easy to realize, the bridge pins must be in good condition indeed.

It was some time ago. Now I would recognize if iH raise or lower. and I will measure it with Tunelab, measuring with tunelab allows to see the iH changing with a small pitch change (4 Hz for instance) so it may be enough to measure.

I can obtain another tool more oriented to iH analysis, also







Edited by Olek (01/26/13 03:52 PM)
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#2021734 - 01/26/13 03:59 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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#2021745 - 01/26/13 04:34 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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I read through the literature about Paulello wire, and realized that whether it is historically accurate or not depends on how you define historical accuracy. There is no way on earth than any of the early piano makers would have known, let alone cared about the factors that Paulello uses to distinguish the types of wire that they make. Probably the only thing they cared about was whether it broke or not, and how much it cost. By that criterion, the most historically accurate wire would be the modern wire that is used in manufacturing pianos today, because it has a higher breaking strength and costs less.
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#2021762 - 01/26/13 04:59 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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The idea is basically to have a low enough iH, then if some new parameters allow to have a more smooth tone progression, why not ?

But I suggest that one must be able to imagine what he is after, and also to take in account all the availeable ^parameters.

I have heard Japanes wire and find it more sounding as the old type French wire than Roslau.

I have heard old Poeehlmann wire and find it better than actual Roslau

I have heard that the speed used on the actual drawing process is controversial to wire quality, that the availeable steel of today is less pure than what was availeable 40 years ago, and all sort of ideas and methods to evaluate a scale.

I have learned to replace all the old pianos strings with a similar diameter wire
Then to replace all the strings by a wire one size less
Then to measure and compute the tension (or use the Booklet made by Klaus Fenner, trying to avoid jumps and hops in tension if any)

Then I have begin to be able to notice how a newly stringed old piano have often not much of the warmness it have originally

Pure wire (stainless steel wire) then Paulello, have helped at last to have a better iH on the stringed pianos.

That mean the tone is very brillant, partials are more together than with usual iH (think Fazioli for instance)
On the other side, there is some sort of unbalance and the energy spend for the partials may sound missing for the fundamental.
The double decreasing noticed usually have avery differnt shape, so the voicing may be very different if you want to have enough fundamental

Dynamic of the tone is more reduced or gives the impression to be. It can be heard yet listening to French pianos recordings from the 1950 era. SOme Pleyel, some gaveau, the tone is way less "greasy" than the german tone.

Historical is a totally different approach and impossible to realize today, possibly on Forte pianos we will have some very good phosphorous iron wire, that is said to correspond to the wire used at those times.

But till 1840 +- all makers where using steel wire, with different tensile strain depending of the era hence different levels of iH (and power)

We where lucky in France as the Firminy wire (type O Paulello) was sold till 1965, so from time to time I meet a French piano that have been re stringed with that exact wire (which can be verified because there are more gauges for the low medium range)

The tone quality of those instruments is simply not available today, too different from our actual standards.

I also heard old Erards with their original wire and a so nice, singing and mellow tone, the same mounted with Roslau are interesting.

The 1960 quality was certainly different from the one of 1930 , but still the impact of wire on the tone of the piano is probably as large as the one of the soundboard (and the hammers).

Wire is the engine, in the end, the rest is just there to drive it or to use the result of the vibes.

Now I find much easier to repair old German pianos due to their high tension scale.

BTW you where right about the BS% not changing noticeably with gauge change.

It is very interesting to analyse the original scaling progression using the breaking strain data available and real gauges.

Some of those old scales (Pleyel for instance) where really excellent. Pleyel worked for quite some time with Gustave Lyons, a physicist and acoustical engineer,(designed the Pleyel concert hall in Paris) that made huge improvements to the instrument.



Edited by Olek (01/26/13 05:05 PM)
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#2021769 - 01/26/13 05:10 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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Inharmonicity was not even discussed before about 1930. It played no role in the design of old pianos.
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#2021786 - 01/26/13 05:42 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Probably, but what doe sit mean, they tested which size of wire gave the best tone, or which tension was best ?

Without iH computation there are enough other parameters available to them.

I agree iH is a result of parameters , it is a tool for us and hopefully we know what it is and how to try to evaluate it beforehand.

But that does not mean it is not a characteristic of a given scale.

Thos "low tension, high tension scale" are yet styles used when a piano is designed, as said manufacturers (without telling you too much about the details)

Klaus Fenner produced a "bible" resuming the evolving and differnt styles in use today - if I would spend as much time as I write on that forum (I am ill and cannot work since a few days) learning German I would have read and understood that book yet wink
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#2021836 - 01/26/13 07:39 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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If you look at scales of pre-1900 period, you come to realize that pianos were designed so that strings were somehow fit into them, and then wire gauges were tried according to the customs of the time. The scales are never very good.

After around WWI, you see some scales that actually seemed to be designed according to some principles. Tensions become more uniform and logical. Still, most of them paid homage to the customs of previous times, though.
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#2021865 - 01/26/13 08:40 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
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I have to agree that most of the older scales are uneven. That is not necessarily limited to pianos that are very old. Seldom have I used exactly the same gauges on a restoration, and I regret some choices to go original.

We can readily see that the OP's situation is one in which he is not free to do this, since the owner has requested originality. I believe the sound board may prevent the result the customer desires: to hear the piano as it sounded new.
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#2021915 - 01/26/13 11:34 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Roy123]
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ROY123

"The yield point varies not only for the particular grade of steel, but also its temper. Many people don't realize that the tempering process only affects the yield point, but not the modulus. So, basically, all wire that would be suitable for piano strings has essentially the same stiffness, and the same density--it is really only the yield point that varies. Does variation in yield strength really affect sound. Well, I'm skeptical. Remember that all piano wire is tensioned well below the yield point."

Experience using lower Break Point, (BP) high-carbon, (HC) piano wire on pianos does show an audible difference. The only logical explanation for this is the internal damping of the softer wire upon longitudinal mode, (L-Mode).

The Pure Sound stainless alloy wire shows a further reduction in L-mode over HC wire.

Data for this can be found in the book published by the Piano Technicians Guild authored by James Ellis about L-mode in taut piano strings. He used his test monochord outfitted with magnetostrictive transducers to measure L-mode frequency and relative amplitude of several types of piano wire including Pure Sound.

Many technicians are now developing protocols to modify wire types where the portion of a pianos scale reaches relatively lo BP. This is to improve the tone where the scale break occurs between plain and wound strings.

The advantage of the "softer" wires is you can maintain and even introduce more tri-chord and bi-chord unisons into a scale to make fuller use of the unison coupling between three strings which produce a deeper tone compared to bi-chord coupling.

Also L-mode is louder and more evident when the angle the strings make where they cross the bridge is close to a right angle. This is why the hockey -stick low tenor bridge can howl especially when carrying wound strings. The rocking bridge motion reinforces or reignites L-mode in the string. These L-modes can couple into and out of the Transverse modes in some very complex ways which Ellis's excellent work has shed some much needed light on.
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#2021972 - 01/27/13 02:59 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Paulello does not state it modifies the young modulus indeed. (?)

Ed what make a more tense string have less iH , it seem to be counter intuitive, to me.

Then iH may just be the result of tension, or does it change with wire yeld strain leve ?

What is the name of the book by Ellis please ?


Edited by Olek (01/27/13 08:28 AM)
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#2021973 - 01/27/13 03:07 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
I have to agree that most of the older scales are uneven. That is not necessarily limited to pianos that are very old. Seldom have I used exactly the same gauges on a restoration, and I regret some choices to go original.

We can readily see that the OP's situation is one in which he is not free to do this, since the owner has requested originality. I believe the sound board may prevent the result the customer desires: to hear the piano as it sounded new.



It could be that they did not have all the wanted jauges, or that they think in term of registers. It is normal to try to use the wire we have availeable in the best possible way.

Moderate progression of tension, for instance, but unless strings lenght are modified our options are limited.

There are visibly different ways to apprehend scaling . Possibly some makers used to push one parameter at the expense if another (I think of power mostly)
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#2021974 - 01/27/13 03:08 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: RestorerPhil]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
I have to agree that most of the older scales are uneven. That is not necessarily limited to pianos that are very old. Seldom have I used exactly the same gauges on a restoration, and I regret some choices to go original.

We can readily see that the OP's situation is one in which he is not free to do this, since the owner has requested originality. I believe the sound board may prevent the result the customer desires: to hear the piano as it sounded new.



It could be that they did not have all the wanted jauges, or that they think in term of registers. It is normal to try to use the wire we have availeable in the best possible way.

Moderate progression of tension, for instance, but unless strings lenght are modified our options are limited.

There are visibly different ways to apprehend scaling . Possibly some makers used to push one parameter at the expense of another (I think of power mostly)
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#2021976 - 01/27/13 03:18 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Sure internal damping is what strikes me the most when softer grade wire is mounted. I am so used to more conservation of energy that I perceivevthat as a hole in the dwell

With time some hardening occurs.

The damping favour an imnediate stablilsation , straightening the tone, it is not the same effect than comparing bichord and trichord unison, but I appreciate those when enough iH is present, and relate that to low tensionning.
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#2022032 - 01/27/13 08:00 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
RestorerPhil Offline
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[s]
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT


Also L-mode is louder and more evident when the angle the strings make where they cross the bridge is close to a right angle. This is why the hockey -stick low tenor bridge can howl especially when carrying wound strings. The rocking bridge motion reinforces or reignites L-mode in the string. These L-modes can couple into and out of the Transverse modes in some very complex ways which Ellis's excellent work has shed some much needed light on.


Ah, so the designers who used the short angled separate tenor bridges were onto something. They heard the odd tones and made accommodation for it, even though they did not know the technical reasons for it. This is a very useful tidbit.

Of course, we are not talking about a characteristic of the piano wire per se, instead we are bringing in a motional characteristic of the bridge. The diagonal crossing prevents or discourages a certain motion in the bridge, thereby preventing the undesireable tones caused by anomalies in the best vibration modes of the strings. Got it. Now come the complexities of supporting a separate bridge and preventing distortions in the sound board, etc., etc.

Oh, what a tangled web we done wove here!

(Sorry to range too far afield, here.) blush
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#2022149 - 01/27/13 11:43 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
ROY123

"The yield point varies not only for the particular grade of steel, but also its temper. Many people don't realize that the tempering process only affects the yield point, but not the modulus. So, basically, all wire that would be suitable for piano strings has essentially the same stiffness, and the same density--it is really only the yield point that varies. Does variation in yield strength really affect sound. Well, I'm skeptical. Remember that all piano wire is tensioned well below the yield point."

Experience using lower Break Point, (BP) high-carbon, (HC) piano wire on pianos does show an audible difference. The only logical explanation for this is the internal damping of the softer wire upon longitudinal mode, (L-Mode).

The Pure Sound stainless alloy wire shows a further reduction in L-mode over HC wire.

Data for this can be found in the book published by the Piano Technicians Guild authored by James Ellis about L-mode in taut piano strings. He used his test monochord outfitted with magnetostrictive transducers to measure L-mode frequency and relative amplitude of several types of piano wire including Pure Sound.

Many technicians are now developing protocols to modify wire types where the portion of a pianos scale reaches relatively lo BP. This is to improve the tone where the scale break occurs between plain and wound strings.

The advantage of the "softer" wires is you can maintain and even introduce more tri-chord and bi-chord unisons into a scale to make fuller use of the unison coupling between three strings which produce a deeper tone compared to bi-chord coupling.

Also L-mode is louder and more evident when the angle the strings make where they cross the bridge is close to a right angle. This is why the hockey -stick low tenor bridge can howl especially when carrying wound strings. The rocking bridge motion reinforces or reignites L-mode in the string. These L-modes can couple into and out of the Transverse modes in some very complex ways which Ellis's excellent work has shed some much needed light on.


Sure L mode is present in tone, when i used the "rubbing with rosin impregnated cloth" method to analyze the pitch of the Lmode on a string (so to compute a theoretical Young modulus (?)

I heard what part of the tone it is , it is possibly "tuned" in modern design, I seem to recall a scaling software having a parameter for it.

If you have more information on the quadratic effect, and its eventual relation with Lmode, please let us know.

ALl the best


Edited by Olek (01/28/13 02:24 AM)
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#2022175 - 01/27/13 12:37 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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RESTORE PHIL:
Steinway was very proud of the "scale sweep" they used. From conversations with Henry Steinway he remarked to me that scaling the break took an inordinate amount of time to develop. In my opinion the 3 bridge A's trade off the end of bridge effect against the L-mode. The success of the ring bridge is it counteracts both problems.

I have converted 3 bridge A's to 2 bridge combining a bolt in capo to maintain strike ratio with a hockey stick extension at the bottom of the tenor. I maintain wound tri-chords but designing the hockey stick to minimize rocking is tricky because of the mass increase.

OLEK:
Ellis's book can be ordered from several US supply houses or from the PTG.org website. Ellis was not able to develop an accurate formula for predicting L-mode frequency, the variables because of bridge/soundboard interactions preclude it in his opinion. Conklin and Ellis both have Patents on some aspects of controlling L-mode behavior, but neither discloses a precise formula for calculation that I have seen. I'll get back to you when I think I understand what this "Quadratic effect" and "Phantom Partials" are. Do not think I have ever heard them although Conklin has spectrum analyzer pictures.
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#2022187 - 01/27/13 12:57 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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Ed, thanks,

How I understand it it occurs audibly above a certain range of dynamics, and then the percentage is eventually strong vs the usual partials.

I tried to have more information and was referred to the AJAS at last to find extracts or resumes.

At stronger force, I perceive a very different tone that is sometime really hidden at more moderate level of play.

it have been said to me that there is reinforcement of partials of course (more hard felt ) , the quadratic effect, different action noise, but also rotations of the vibration plane of the strings can occur.(may be that last gives that strong vibrating move perceived by the pianist at high level of power)
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#2022367 - 01/27/13 07:39 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
RestorerPhil Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
RESTORE PHIL:
I have converted 3 bridge A's to 2 bridge combining a bolt in capo to maintain strike ratio with a hockey stick extension at the bottom of the tenor. I maintain wound tri-chords but designing the hockey stick to minimize rocking is tricky because of the mass increase.


The mass solution perhaps being drill-throughs to reduce the weight?

I hear a voice crying out,

"Pics, please, pics." thumb
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#2023913 - 01/30/13 08:42 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Craig Hair Offline
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well...
That was a lot of information, and debate, nad I thank everyone who tried to penetrate my ignorance.

Let me see if I have got some of this straight.

I was mistaken to think that a stronger wire pulls any harder than a weaker wire in similar notes. The difference lies in how close to its individual breaking point each wire is taken when pulled up to pitch. The weaker wire will be pulled more stiffly than the stronger wire and so produce less inharmonicity. This is called the wire's solicitation.

BDB said that the results of rescaling are subtle. Oleg pointed out that the choice of wire can have a dramatic change; the need to drop two wire sizes in order to keep inharmonicity near original levels. It seems to me that the choice of wire is one of the most consequential decisions to be made in a piano. For fully modern pianos, standard wire is probably fully adequate. But when it comes from pianos built during the developmental era of piano wire, it seems that it is now possible to install either a too hard wire or, equally, a too soft wire and create an inharmonicity curve that is not according to the makers intent. It seems to me that this would change the whole voice of the piano.

All this leaves me right where the firs few posters sent me. I have to investigate the original wire. Breaking strength seems to be the most direct corrolary, so I guess I'm going to build a wire snapper. Any tips on this would be apperciated.

Oddly enough we have just gained access to a full scale Rockwell Hrdness tester( and a man who knows how to run it) Do you think that this type of test might prove relevant?
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#2023942 - 01/30/13 09:47 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
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hi ! do you have pics ?

breaking strain of original wire is of little value , but you can imagine the kind of wire by looking to the lengths and tensions.

I have a spreadsheet allowing to compare the tensions with different type of historical wire, and notation (gauges differ till Poehlmann on European pianos)

I wish you could test modern Roslau wire #15 and thinner, just to verify the breaking strain.



Edited by Olek (01/30/13 10:14 AM)
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#2023962 - 01/30/13 10:15 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Emmery Offline
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Originally Posted By: Craig Hair
well...
That was a lot of information, and debate, nad I thank everyone who tried to penetrate my ignorance.

Let me see if I have got some of this straight.

I was mistaken to think that a stronger wire pulls any harder than a weaker wire in similar notes. The difference lies in how close to its individual breaking point each wire is taken when pulled up to pitch. The weaker wire will be pulled more stiffly than the stronger wire and so produce less inharmonicity. This is called the wire's solicitation.

BDB said that the results of rescaling are subtle. Oleg pointed out that the choice of wire can have a dramatic change; the need to drop two wire sizes in order to keep inharmonicity near original levels. It seems to me that the choice of wire is one of the most consequential decisions to be made in a piano. For fully modern pianos, standard wire is probably fully adequate. But when it comes from pianos built during the developmental era of piano wire, it seems that it is now possible to install either a too hard wire or, equally, a too soft wire and create an inharmonicity curve that is not according to the makers intent. It seems to me that this would change the whole voice of the piano.

All this leaves me right where the firs few posters sent me. I have to investigate the original wire. Breaking strength seems to be the most direct corrolary, so I guess I'm going to build a wire snapper. Any tips on this would be apperciated.

Oddly enough we have just gained access to a full scale Rockwell Hrdness tester( and a man who knows how to run it) Do you think that this type of test might prove relevant?


You will have difficulties with a standard Rockwell tester for hardness measurements on music wire for various reasons. First of all music wire is composed of a gradiant of hardness that increases from the center out to its surface. A by product of surface work hardening from the drawing process. Your reading will be in doubt because it will be an average of this gradiant. Secondly, the smallest tip on the gage is ~ 1/16". It will be very difficult to stabilize a small cylindrical surface within the 2 degree perpendicularity required for the test and and typically the most accurate readings are done on flat surrfaces, not radiused ones. The support backing of the wire will need to be a V shaped diamond anvil. Thirdly, there needs to be sufficient metal thickness for the tip to do the initial preload referance indentation and then do the secondary deformation indentation and then to reset on the rebound material for the actual reading. ASTM A228 music wire is rated 41-60 Rockwell C by industry because as the wire increases in size, the gradiant average changes accordingly for hardness.

Go here to get more info...
http://optimumspring.com/technical_resources/materials/carbon_steels/music_wire_228_spring_wire.aspx

For the break strength measurement (much more useful)I would suggest using an appropriate electronic load cell strain gage. It would be best to utilize something similar to a tuning pin coil for the endpoints of the wire on the test. Any knot or small small radius bend point could easily skew the results because these can easily become weakpoints. The loading of the wire needs to be extremely slow and fluid in motion. Any jerky or fast movements would relay spikes on the gage reading.

If your interested in the strength of the wire, I would suggest finding the source maker of the wire and request a copy of their testing results. It seems somewhat futile if you are trying to emulate the wire from a century past or more. That wire has degraded with time and subject to long term creep if strung with tension on a piano.

Back ten years ago I had tested a sample of german music wire by slowely lifting an increased succesion of weight from my weight lifting equipment. The wire deformed and broke within 10 lbs of the calculated point using the calculated information from the above mentioned link.


Edited by Emmery (01/30/13 10:24 AM)
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#2026101 - 02/02/13 11:36 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I was just tuning one of my pianos today, (a 5' 7") which has a "hybrid wire scale". The lowest two plain wire unisons are Pure Sound stainless and the six above are Paulello type O.

I don't use an electronic tuner these days so I haven't pulled mine out to measure partials to see how inharmonic the notes are. But, when tuning I notice that the fifths of the Pure Sound and the type O notes, (the fifth formed has the hybrid wire as the low note of the interval,) have no noticeable 6-4 beating and I know that if I had fully modern piano wire on those note I would hear that little beat at the 6-4 even when my 3-2 matches were perfect. The M3s' also seem quicker. This indicates to me that the inharmonicity of the Stainless and type O wire must be lower. But according to the inharmonicity formula that we use that was derived by Schuck and Young-since the modulus of elasticity of the type O wire is the same as modern piano wire-the inharmonicity should be the same.

Anyone else hear this? If I am hearing correctly this might mean the formula is flawed. I do know that the string terminations affect the calculation and Schuck and Young had to average the differences between clamped and pivot termination. But that difference should only be seen at the fundamental which is irrelevant to our work in general.


Edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT (02/03/13 10:28 AM)
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#2026122 - 02/03/13 12:54 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Roy123]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: Roy123
I'd have to say that I'm a bit skeptical about all this talk about the exact wire type being important. There are really 3 inherent parameters of the wire that are important. I say inherent, because, for the moment, I want to defer thoughts about how well the wire was manufactured.

The three parameters are density (mass per unit volume), Young's modulus (sometimes called the modulus of elasticity, or the tensile modulus), and the yield strength. The modulus of elasticity is a measure of how much force is required to stretch the material a certain amount--one could think of it as stiffness. The yield point is the amount of strain the material can take before it starts to permanently deform.

The density of all steels is so close that for our purposes we can consider them to be the same. The modulus of all steels is essentially the same. The modulus for the stronger grades of stainless steel (400 series) is about 3% less than steel.

The yield point varies not only for the particular grade of steel, but also its temper. Many people don't realize that the tempering process only affects the yield point, but not the modulus. So, basically, all wire that would be suitable for piano strings has essentially the same stiffness, and the same density--it is really only the yield point that varies. Does variation in yield strength really affect sound. Well, I'm skeptical. Remember that all piano wire is tensioned well below the yield point.

I admit to some initial skepticism as well. However, I have tested two varieties of Paullelo’s wire on my string frame and, when compared aurally with strings of identical size and length using Mapes IG wire and Roslau wire, there is a clearly audible difference.

At least there is after the wire has been on the frame and at pitch for a couple of months. It seems to change slightly over time. (I have no explanation for this at the moment.)

I don’t yet have spectrum plots of these tests—my accelerometer preamp decided to stop cooperating with Windows XP a couple of weeks before I started the test—but I’ve had enough verification from other technicians to convince me I’m not just hearing things.

As soon as I can I’ll be getting a new preamp to go with my new computer—don’t you just love how “progress” always means replacing everything and starting over—and I’ll repeat the tests and see what the spectrum analyzer shows. In the mean time I’ve used the same two types of Paullelo’s wire on several problematic bass-to-tenor transitions with reasonable success. It’s easier than converting to bi-chords and, while I don’t find it quite as effective, it is better than doing nothing.

ddf
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#2026235 - 02/03/13 09:33 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I was just tuning one of my pianos today, (a 5' 7") which has a "hybrid wire scale". The lowest two plain wire unisons are Pure Sound stainless and the six above are Paulello type O.

I don't use an electronic tuner these days so I haven't pulled mine out to measure partials to see how inharmonic the notes are. But, when tuning I notice that the fifths of the Pure Sound and the type O notes, (the fifth formed has the hybrid wire as the low note of the interval,) have no noticeable 6-3 beating and I know that if I had fully modern piano wire on those note I would hear that little beat at the 6-3 even when my 3-2 matches were perfect. The M3s' also seem quicker. This indicates to me that the inharmonicity of the Stainless and type O wire must be lower. But according to the inharmonicity formula that we use that was derived by Schuck and Young-since the modulus of elasticity of the type O wire is the same as modern piano wire-the inharmonicity should be the same.

Anyone else hear this? If I am hearing correctly this might mean the formula is flawed. I do know that the string terminations affect the calculation and Schuck and Young
had to average the differences between clamped and pivot termination. But that difference should only be seen at the fundamental which is irrelevant to our work in general.


The Ih lower, on my scaling spreadsheet, when I use less stiff wire. (but the e-modulus is less in the table, possibly it should not(?)

I believe this allow to ascertain the global level of iH beginning with the one at A49 that could be around 0.6 at max for soft wire ,(not too small piano, on verticals it is often more) and that raise much if modern wire is used.

Seem to me that lowering the level of sollicitation the wire is subjected to (changing the pitch) raise the level of iH.

Less iH, more in tune partials, that makes a more brillant tone, at the same time less bodied.

I like soft wire where the lenghts are shortened. seem to me that the energy is adbsorbed sooner when the wire is softer, and that with time some hardening occur that raise the thickness of tone.

Those strings are very stable in pitch and very soon.



Edited by Olek (02/04/13 04:40 AM)
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#2026253 - 02/03/13 10:42 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
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Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Roy123
The difference in using Pure Sound stainless, Type O and Type I wire in the foreshortened plain tri-chords, and in the lowest single and bi-chord wounds as core, verses using fully modern wire is readily heard. The only logical explanation is the difference in how these softer wires propagate and sustain Longitudinal mode. James Ellis's work on L-modes shows lower frequency and amplitude of L-mode in the stainless wire he tested. Paulello's wire was not available then.

I have an article titled "Hybrid Wire Scales" to be published in the PTG Journal sometime after my coming March article titled "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale". There are several Tech's working on these protocols in the US now and for some time in europe. They beat us there. Paulello has done some amazing work.

I tried some 25 years ago the get Mapes to soft anneal select sizes of wire to do some work along these lines-although my thinking at the time was that the inharmonicity would be lower. I seem to be mostly wrong on that prediction. Evidence now shows that L-mode is a more significant source of objectionable sounds than inharmonicity in the piano than previously thought.
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#2026256 - 02/03/13 10:44 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
jim ialeggio Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
In the mean time I’ve used the same two types of Paullelo’s wire on several problematic bass-to-tenor transitions with reasonable success. It’s easier than converting to bi-chords and, while I don’t find it quite as effective, it is better than doing nothing.

I've been playing with this question in my own work...namely, in a full rebuild, am I chasing my tail by correcting scaling problems by redrawing the long bridge & laminating a custom long bridge. Previous to the availability of Paulello and Pure Sound wires, when BP% could only be manipulated within certain limited parameters, yes, the redrawing of the long bridge definitely made sense. But having BP% now as a flexible design parameter, I am seriously questioning my assumption that lengths also had to be addressed.

One thing though that stands out for me in this mental calculus is that the design of the board's structure gets you most of the way there. Blow the structure, and no wire will really fix the problem beyond small hard to detect incremental improvements. But get the board right where it counts, and slight weaknesses in the string scale are much harder to get worked up over. Whatever length generated string scale weaknesses remain seem to be more technician oriented than musician oriented.

So the question I'm working on for myself is, if the board is appropriately designed, and the existing, flawed long bridge and bass bridge are partially corrected with BP% manipulation, are the remaining challenges in the string lengths musically worth the expense of designing and fabricating new bridges...by the way, rather than presenting the above as a statement, this is all a question I'm currently challenging my own assumptions with...haven't decided yet where I am on this...still experimenting.

What I really appreciate about the new wires is the ability to experiment with what the lower tension limits of a modern piano really are, specifically as they relate to small venue/home, fine musician pianos.

Jim Ialeggio
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#2026259 - 02/03/13 10:54 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
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Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Hi Jim Ialeggio,
I have been thinking the same. Why change a working bridge/soundboard layout. The challenge with the bridge/soundboard is characterizing how they are reacting to L-mode. You can have a decent set of strings regarding elongation etc and be plagued by hoots, whistles and barks that bridge/soundboard modes are influencing.
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#2026271 - 02/03/13 11:20 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: jim ialeggio]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
So the question I'm working on for myself is, if the board is appropriately designed, and the existing, flawed long bridge and bass bridge are partially corrected with BP% manipulation, are the remaining challenges in the string lengths musically worth the expense of designing and fabricating new bridges...by the way, rather than presenting the above as a statement, this is all a question I'm currently challenging my own assumptions with...haven't decided yet where I am on this...still experimenting.

What I really appreciate about the new wires is the ability to experiment with what the lower tension limits of a modern piano really are, specifically as they relate to small venue/home, fine musician pianos.

In my opinion, yes, it is still worth that effort assuming you are already in there, the string frame is out of the piano and you're already doing some amount of bridge work.

Where I appreciate this wire is when not all of that work is otherwise being done. You're not going to fix a GH-1 scale with any of these wires but you can make it less bad.

ddf
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#2026565 - 02/03/13 10:55 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I have done many plain trichord conversion to wound bichord back in the day to improve the inharmonicity curve and increase unison tension and string elongation. What these conversions usually do though is change the tone color (thinner more nasal) because you no longer have 3 unison strings coupling. This is readily perceived when you are playing music that has a melody prominent in the bichord region. They also can have louder L-modes that are more reinforced by the rocking bridge motion that can occur.

These new "softer" wires offer many more options to designing a wound to plain transition than we have ever had in the piano industry. Mapes now also offers stainless wrapping in the finest sizes which enables more consistent fine wound strings than is possible with the finest copper wraps.

Skilled piano engineers should now be able to produce small pianos that have exceptional dynamics, tone color and tuning stability, that was not possible before.
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#2026590 - 02/03/13 11:34 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT


These new "softer" wires offer many more options to designing a wound to plain transition than we have ever had in the piano industry. Mapes now also offers stainless wrapping in the finest sizes which enables more consistent fine wound strings than is possible with the finest copper wraps.

Skilled piano engineers should now be able to produce small pianos that have exceptional dynamics, tone color and tuning stability, that was not possible before.


Ed
That is an interesting tidbit about Mapes with the stainless. The implications for redesigning small grands are interesting. There might be a possibility of using trichords with fine stainless wraps in the tenor section on some pianos for a few unisons, then go to Type O wire with no wrap for a few more unisons, etc. then resume normal M type wire.

On the same piano, the upper end of the bass might respond to a slightly higher gauge of core wire wrapped with the stainless for lighter loading, but the same tension. This could be an interesting experiment: Since Mapes is considerably less expensive than some of the upper tier string makers, I may order alternative strings for both these portions of the scale on the "Dainty Grand" which I soon to restore. The cost to double up on a dozen to twenty strings, ordering them all at once with two different specs, would be worth the flexibilty.

The tone could be tested with either/or/both to see what tone combination was most pleasing.
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#2026592 - 02/03/13 11:38 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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Longitudinal mode seems to becoming another buzzword, used without really thinking about what it means. It should mean the elongation and shortening of the string. It has to coincide roughly with the maximal and minimal displacement of the transverse motion of the string. But somehow there are those who would have us believe that it is something entirely separate from other the motions of the string.

All this division into different modes and harmonics tends to confuse one truth: There is only one sound wave coming from a string at a time, which is the combination of all these various factors.
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#2026628 - 02/04/13 01:05 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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L-Mode originates where there is a localized increase of tension in a string. This predominately occurs at the striking point.

BDB, I assure you I didn't just fall off the turnip truck when it was hit with an L-mode. I have been studying all the literature and running experiments in my shop, and communicating with acoustics researchers for many years.

If you are interested you will be able to read about how I am controlling some L-modes in the March Piano Technicians Journal. It is an article about a Patent I have pending titled "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale".

The work of James Ellis in describing how L-modes couple into and out of T-modes has been very illuminating. I believe that I did play some role in encouraging him to investigate them when we talked about what was known about L-modes in the late 1970's. I lack the requisite electrical engineering prowess to construct monochords with sensitive magnetostrictive transducers. Jim worked at Oakridge Nat'l Laboratories building measurement equipment used for Nuclear controls. He started tuning pianos when he was in high school and serviced them part time during his working career as a scientist. We are so fortunate that someone like him could help us when he retired from Oakridge.

It is precisely how the L-modes interact with the T-modes and the string termination conditions that are very complex and interesting. Mr. Podelsak who did some Piano research that was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America has stated in the past that "much remains to be investigated about the influence of L-modes on piano tone".

BDB, sorry this topic seems to bother you but others seem very interested. It's all just a matter of taste eh?
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#2026666 - 02/04/13 03:07 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
L-Mode originates where there is a localized increase of tension in a string. This predominately occurs at the striking point.


That is obvious from what I said. At that point, the string is displaced the most, and therefore it is at its longest length. It corresponds exactly to the maximum transverse displacement.

What I would like to know is whether what I call longitudinal mode corresponds to what you call longitudinal mode, and how it differs from transverse mode. That is a simple enough question.

Quote:
BDB, sorry this topic seems to bother you but others seem very interested. It's all just a matter of taste eh?


I am the one who is asking questions, which should be an indication that I am interested. Sorry if my questions bother you, but you brought the subject up, and you should be able to discuss it.
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#2026694 - 02/04/13 04:22 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
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L modes is responsible for forwarding the attack noise and tone precursor.
If a wire does not very well generate Lmodes, it may be the reason of the "hole" that is perceived immediately after hammer impact, and that I thought was due to some internal damping.

Lessening the impact noise can be a good thing, probably not in all regions.

I will listen to the samples with and without L modes to see if this helps me.

The importance of the attack transients (?) is under evaluated by tuners and re builders, in my humble unauthorized opinion;)
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#2026702 - 02/04/13 04:47 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Roy123
The difference in using Pure Sound stainless, Type O and Type I wire in the foreshortened plain tri-chords, and in the lowest single and bi-chord wounds as core, verses using fully modern wire is readily heard. The only logical explanation is the difference in how these softer wires propagate and sustain Longitudinal mode. James Ellis's work on L-modes shows lower frequency and amplitude of L-mode in the stainless wire he tested. Paulello's wire was not available then.

I have an article titled "Hybrid Wire Scales" to be published in the PTG Journal sometime after my coming March article titled "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale". There are several Tech's working on these protocols in the US now and for some time in europe. They beat us there. Paulello has done some amazing work.

I tried some 25 years ago the get Mapes to soft anneal select sizes of wire to do some work along these lines-although my thinking at the time was that the inharmonicity would be lower. I seem to be mostly wrong on that prediction. Evidence now shows that L-mode is a more significant source of objectionable sounds than inharmonicity in the piano than previously thought.


Yes I believe this may be related, and not only because of the acoustical tones produced by L modes and their mix with usual modes.

WHy can't we find analyzed spectra samples, and comparaisons , even if not at a high precision laboratory level, any one owning a decent sound card and a mike can make samples, and analyse the shape of the tone (with some error margin indeed but are not tenedancies shows enough so to make temporary conclusions ?)

When I see a spectra I see the most prominent partials and their level

When I analyse the "envelope" (dont know if this is the good word. I see how the tone behave.

Even Audicity, which is free, allow top do so
.
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#2028475 - 02/07/13 12:27 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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BDB;
I am glad you are interested in wire type and L-mode behavior. You can study Ellis's book, articles published in The Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, Patents issued to Conklin, and to Ellis, and others. I don't think a forum is the place to post copyrighted material or to self-publish a text. I look forward to your comments on the body of writing that presently exists.
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#2028753 - 02/07/13 01:08 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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I would settle for a brief definition of longitudinal mode. I gave one, which would coincide pretty much with the other modes of vibration. Another definition, which may explain why Conklin says it is about 10 times the frequency of transverse vibration, would just be related to the speed of sound in the material. In any case, if it is 10 times the frequency of the transverse vibration, that pretty much eliminates it from being a factor in all but the bass strings, as it would be inaudibly high elsewhere.
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#2028798 - 02/07/13 02:17 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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if you want to hear it BDB jut rub a string, assuming you can get up of your chair you will be able to hear it, assuming yours ears are yet functional wink
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#2028833 - 02/07/13 03:54 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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Tried it. The results are inconclusive, and I have a number of problems with the method. After all, a violin is played by rubbing the strings, and yet most of the sound is due to the lateral motion of the string.
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#2028854 - 02/07/13 04:33 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
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high pitched, similar as some pîtches produced by hammer matin g problems, but thicker, it should be easy to investigate if those are the same tones

Now when rubbing with a rosin impregnated finger we hear one pitch probably the most fundamental L mode.

Seem more than evident to me that thoses tones mix with the other form of vibration.



Edited by Olek (02/07/13 04:34 PM)
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#2029026 - 02/07/13 09:57 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: Olek
WHy can't we find analyzed spectra samples, and comparaisons , even if not at a high precision laboratory level, any one owning a decent sound card and a mike can make samples, and analyse the shape of the tone (with some error margin indeed but are not tenedancies shows enough so to make temporary conclusions ?)

When I see a spectra I see the most prominent partials and their level

When I analyse the "envelope" (dont know if this is the good word. I see how the tone behave.

Even Audicity, which is free, allow top do so.

Audicity is basically recording software. It gives you a good time-series plot of the sound envelope but it does not tell us anything about frequency. We can only get volume (power) relative to time.

To get frequency we need a spectrum analyzer. And separating out energy generated by longitudinal modes relative to transverse modes gets tricky. The best way is to incorporate accelerometers that can isolate vibrations relative to the direction of motion but good ones are expensive. A decent tri-axial accelerometer can easily run better than $2,000. And then there are the electronics to drive it an process the signal(s).

I have a pair of fairly good single axis accelerometers that one day Real Soon Now I’m going to try to set up to measure some of this but I don’t know how successful I’ll be until I try it.

If I do make it work I’ll try to publish the results somewhere.

Until somebody does this we have to rely on human ears which are not all that bad a measuring and analysis device when coupled with some experience and thought. I await Ed’s articles with some interest.

ddf
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#2029044 - 02/07/13 10:53 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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BDB;
Read Ellis book and you will see how some of the L-modes and T-modes interact. You will have to wait for my Fully Tempered Duplex Scale article for me to disclose other mechanism's.
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#2029134 - 02/08/13 03:33 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Olek
WHy can't we find analyzed spectra samples, and comparaisons , even if not at a high precision laboratory level, any one owning a decent sound card and a mike can make samples, and analyse the shape of the tone (with some error margin indeed but are not tenedancies shows enough so to make temporary conclusions ?)

When I see a spectra I see the most prominent partials and their level

When I analyse the "envelope" (dont know if this is the good word. I see how the tone behave.

Even Audicity, which is free, allow top do so.

Audicity is basically recording software. It gives you a good time-series plot of the sound envelope but it does not tell us anything about frequency. We can only get volume (power) relative to time.

To get frequency we need a spectrum analyzer. And separating out energy generated by longitudinal modes relative to transverse modes gets tricky. The best way is to incorporate accelerometers that can isolate vibrations relative to the direction of motion but good ones are expensive. A decent tri-axial accelerometer can easily run better than $2,000. And then there are the electronics to drive it an process the signal(s).

I have a pair of fairly good single axis accelerometers that one day Real Soon Now I’m going to try to set up to measure some of this but I don’t know how successful I’ll be until I try it.

If I do make it work I’ll try to publish the results somewhere.

Until somebody does this we have to rely on human ears which are not all that bad a measuring and analysis device when coupled with some experience and thought. I await Ed’s articles with some interest.

ddf


Hi thank you for chiming, you may relate to older versions of audacity, you can ploit the frequencies and see the peaks in audacity, based on a selection. DOyou mean a freqency analysis tool must be real time initially ?

But even on a PC there are more sound analysis oriented tools as WavePad http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/fft.html
.
I had one very professional one, but not the hardware adequate to use it. but a simple ZOom H2 is yet enough to take strings samples and see what one hear

I have been working as a tuner at the IRCAM lab in Paris when they begin to use accelerometers, but it was on an old Petrof and the tone thickening was not very apparent on old strings.

Often I have seen the experiences did show interesting things but nothing conclusive came from unisons, and they where not analyzed as such.

When I will have time and contacts, I will try to setup something so we can try to see how the mix Tmode Lmode is evolving during unison tuning.

High speed camera should be excellent also to see how the phase works between strings, the only videos I have seen did not include sound samples, nor time frame, only polarisation (wapin) was seen. no idea of the way the unison was "build"

BTW I asked that on another thread, where it seem that lower tension could raise the sound volume when usiong the Excel spreadsheet based on the "calculating Technician" .
To me mor etension mean more volume, is not it ?
or do you know if volume is measured as a first partial value (in the Travis book) ?

Thanks

I.O.



Edited by Olek (02/08/13 03:39 AM)
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#2029290 - 02/08/13 12:55 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: Olek
Hi thank you for chiming, you may relate to older versions of audacity, you can ploit the frequencies and see the peaks in audacity, based on a selection. DOyou mean a freqency analysis tool must be real time initially ?

My copy of Audacity was fairly old. I’ve just downloaded the most recent version and I see what you mean. That feature plots the spectrum of a wave envelope without reference to a specific time. To be useful in analyzing the sound produced by a piano it needs to be able to isolate the spectrum to a specific instant of time.

Since most of the information that enables us to identify and quantify a piano tone comes in that first burst of energy at impact and immediately following impact it is necessary to be able to isolate the energy spectrum and watch what happens during this time.



Quote:
But even on a PC there are more sound analysis oriented tools as WavePad http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/fft.html
.
I had one very professional one, but not the hardware adequate to use it. but a simple ZOom H2 is yet enough to take strings samples and see what one hear

Yes, there are good PC tools available but they are not cheap. (Actually, there are several software fft programs available as shareware. They are pretty fussy and I’ve never been able to get them to do anything really useful but I’m not a computer guru. Someone else could probably do better.) Neither are the peripherals such as measurement mics (those contained in Zoom products are not good enough), mic pre-amps, etc.

The mic needs to be flat from at least 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and not many are. The cost of a suitable measurement mic, at least, has come down considerably over the past few years. Twenty years ago nothing was available for less than $1,500 to $2,000. Today mics adequate for our purpose can be had for $200 to $300. They are not quite as good as those from the dedicated measurement instrument manufacturers but they are good enough.

ddf
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#2029327 - 02/08/13 01:55 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
Olek Offline
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Yes Del, but frankly to do the basic checking I wanted to do (just see how the most important partials behave during unison tuning) the software (free version) I gave the link is perfect

Good display and some editing functions, not much analysis tool indeed but that is yet positive.

The clearing and quiet behavior of the second partial is visible at the same time it is heard. (real time then)

Another point , less easy to see but may be related, is that the fundamental is not as stable as expected, and get better with hammer mating (I file a little the crown in the recorded samples)

It is fun to see how the top spectra get quiet, with a smooth extinction, as soon a sthe unison is tuned clear.

I will try similar recordings with a different way for unison, and see if I can get a more stable fundamental while the rest of the spectra is also good.

I agree that certainly to work in the regions of Lmodes and to analyse their interations with the sensors you tell of, expensive software and material is needed.

There is a very good software availeable for free only for one month , the name escapes me, but the phase is manageable, lot of add on availeable, I will post the name asap.
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#2029436 - 02/08/13 06:15 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: Olek
There is a very good software availeable for free only for one month , the name escapes me, but the phase is manageable, lot of add on availeable, I will post the name asap.

I've probably tried most of them by now. The one I currently use when I'm traveling is SpectraPLUS. With options. That, along with an Audix measurement mic and a good preamp/phantom power supply makes a fairly good portable system.

My two accelerometers are fairly small -- the cables take up most of the space -- but the constant-current power supply/preamp is USB powered and, for some reason doesn't communicate with Windows 8. It looks like I'll have to replace it. More money gone.

ddf
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#2029462 - 02/08/13 07:15 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
Roy123 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Olek
Hi thank you for chiming, you may relate to older versions of audacity, you can ploit the frequencies and see the peaks in audacity, based on a selection. DOyou mean a freqency analysis tool must be real time initially ?

My copy of Audacity was fairly old. I’ve just downloaded the most recent version and I see what you mean. That feature plots the spectrum of a wave envelope without reference to a specific time. To be useful in analyzing the sound produced by a piano it needs to be able to isolate the spectrum to a specific instant of time.

Since most of the information that enables us to identify and quantify a piano tone comes in that first burst of energy at impact and immediately following impact it is necessary to be able to isolate the energy spectrum and watch what happens during this time.



Quote:
But even on a PC there are more sound analysis oriented tools as WavePad http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/fft.html
.
I had one very professional one, but not the hardware adequate to use it. but a simple ZOom H2 is yet enough to take strings samples and see what one hear

Yes, there are good PC tools available but they are not cheap. (Actually, there are several software fft programs available as shareware. They are pretty fussy and I’ve never been able to get them to do anything really useful but I’m not a computer guru. Someone else could probably do better.) Neither are the peripherals such as measurement mics (those contained in Zoom products are not good enough), mic pre-amps, etc.

The mic needs to be flat from at least 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and not many are. The cost of a suitable measurement mic, at least, has come down considerably over the past few years. Twenty years ago nothing was available for less than $1,500 to $2,000. Today mics adequate for our purpose can be had for $200 to $300. They are not quite as good as those from the dedicated measurement instrument manufacturers but they are good enough.

ddf


I haven't used Audacity in a while, but I believe one can limit the spectral plots to specific points in time. I think what you'd have to do is to take data over the whole time of interest, save it to a file, open it in Audacity, select the start and stop time, and then look at the spectral plot. Setting the start and stop time may discard the rest of the recording, but if you have a copy saved on your hard drive that shouldn't be a problem.

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#2029619 - 02/09/13 01:48 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Roy123]
Del Offline
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Originally Posted By: Roy123
I haven't used Audacity in a while, but I believe one can limit the spectral plots to specific points in time. I think what you'd have to do is to take data over the whole time of interest, save it to a file, open it in Audacity, select the start and stop time, and then look at the spectral plot. Setting the start and stop time may discard the rest of the recording, but if you have a copy saved on your hard drive that shouldn't be a problem.

I think you're right. I just downloaded it and looked at it briefly but I don't know why what you're suggesting wouldn't work. A little cumbersome if you're interested in more than one time period but it is free. And, of course, it's missing my favorite waterfall plot.

ddf
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#2029662 - 02/09/13 05:21 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Olek
There is a very good software availeable for free only for one month , the name escapes me, but the phase is manageable, lot of add on availeable, I will post the name asap.

I've probably tried most of them by now. The one I currently use when I'm traveling is SpectraPLUS. With options. That, along with an Audix measurement mic and a good preamp/phantom power supply makes a fairly good portable system.

My two accelerometers are fairly small -- the cables take up most of the space -- but the constant-current power supply/preamp is USB powered and, for some reason doesn't communicate with Windows 8. It looks like I'll have to replace it. More money gone.

ddf



Yes Spectra plus, seem to be one of the most adaptable ones , that was the name I was looking for

I hope you will be able to setup your equipment soon

You have a waterfall and a free version for the soft I gave the link, http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/fft.html

sure realtime is more useful. you use the Quad capture Roland ?














Edited by Olek (02/09/13 05:38 AM)
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#2029849 - 02/09/13 11:57 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
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Posts: 5224
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Olek
Yes Spectra plus, seem to be one of the most adaptable ones , that was the name I was looking for

I hope you will be able to setup your equipment soon

You have a waterfall and a free version for the soft I gave the link, http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/fft.html

sure realtime is more useful. you use the Quad capture Roland ?

I've been using my basic travel setup -- including SpectraPLUS on my laptop -- for years. It's not the best fft system available but it is relatively low cost (a little more than $1,000 with options) and, obviously, portable. I can carry everything I need in a small, canvas case in my computer bag through airport security with only a few raised eyebrows. (Through the X-ray machines the microphone looks like the barrel of a gun....) They sometimes don't like 15' of microphone cable either so I pack that in checked luggage if I'm taking any.

I've been using other equipment in my office/workshop at home but it is less portable and more complicated and I'm not sure the results are all that much better.

It was only recently that I lost the use of my accelerometers. But I don't usually travel with them. I purchased the accelerometers to work with the bridges and soundboard units on my string test frame. They work well for this but mounting them requires modifying the bridges and/or soundboards to mount them.

I’ve been considering adding a new one that would travel along with me but, again, these things are pricey. The two I have now ran about $350 each and the one I’m considering next is way more than that.

ddf
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#2029888 - 02/09/13 01:17 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Del]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Oleg and all:

For analysis, do not forget Spear, the program created by Michael Klingbeil. Its graphics are not striking, but it lets you see partials and their amplitudes shift in time, displaying them as lines running across the screen. Since it allows you to then synthesize the note into sine waves and broken into moveable nodes, you can, within the program, silence a partial or several partials, change their relative amplitudes, or change their pitch at specific moments in time to hear the result: http://www.klingbeil.com/spear/

Note that for the best accuracy, one can calibrate the lowest amplitude it will register. As in all similar programs, the better the recording, and thus the less noise\hiss\hum, the better the result.



Edited by Jake Jackson (02/09/13 01:33 PM)

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#2029903 - 02/09/13 01:49 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Hi ! I certainly wish to setup analysis with accelerometers, but I understand the difficulty to position them well, unless a 2 dimension goodie is used.

I seem to recall that they where glued to the bridge, and where fairely small, at the IRCAM.

Is not it possible to use simple mikes to detect phase shifts, I suppose at the soundboard/strings level only.

I want study of unisons, what happens when the tuner decide to change the stabilisation delay between fundamental and the rest of the spectra; do we use any of the L modes for that.

Difficult to have a setup that will play the notes "musically" and with similar energy each time but I believe it is possible just with mass and height, and may be some smooth material to simulate the amortizing done by the pianist.

I also wish to analyse those "self crunching" unisons I hear regularely, they are may be good for all percussive music but leave no much options to make the tone sing, as it saturates too much before getting quiet.

Greetings
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#2029909 - 02/09/13 01:53 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Oleg and all:

For analysis, do not forget Spear, the program created by Michael Klingbeil. Its graphics are not striking, but it lets you see partials and their amplitudes shift in time, displaying them as lines running across the screen. Since it allows you to then synthesize the note into sine waves and broken into moveable nodes, you can, within the program, silence a partial or several partials, change their relative amplitudes, or change their pitch at specific moments in time to hear the result: http://www.klingbeil.com/spear/

Note that for the best accuracy, one can calibrate the lowest amplitude it will register. As in all similar programs, the better the recording, and thus the less noise\hiss\hum, the better the result.



Thank you , strange display, I will see if I can get some new information from there.

I am surprised that I had yet enough with real time display , even using a MP3 file.
I suppose that by evidence the recording is very low quality, but what the signal shows is heard at the same time, that make it accessible for a tuner .

DO you believe those USB acquisition (sound) cards are worth the money ? (I mean Roland something , about 220 USD)
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#2029965 - 02/09/13 04:16 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hi, Oleg. A good 24 bit or higher external sound card\box should be good. As you know, the higher the bit rate and the sampling rate, the better. Less averaging and shifting of pitches. I don't know about using an mp3 for serious testing. I don't know the exact coding, but even if it sounds good, there will be losses and summing and averaging, shifting some freqs and amplitudes.

I think and hope that Spear would be an excellent tool for examining the unisons, since it lets you see the timeline of changes to the frequency and amplitude of each partial, instead of showing a freeze-frame, an average, or an animation. You can also zoom in on a specific time to see small changes in freq and amplitude. (Did you see that you can click on each line to see its freq at any point in time? Did you find how to "re-synthesize" the sound in Spear? That opens up some of its real strengths. But as the site says, some inaccuracies can slip in. It's important to listen to the synthesis.)

You mention wanting to see how longitudinal waves change when "the tuner decides to change the stabilisation delay between fundamental and the rest of the spectra." Is this what happens--a delay in the coupling--when unisons are intentionally pitched slightly different from the center string? If so, is there a general principle at work? The higher the unison goes, within obvious boundaries, the longer the delay in coupling? Are there variations, such as staggering the pitching of the two unisons so that neither is at pitch with the center string and they are also not at the same pitch? Ideally, can you determine if there are precise results? In other words, does a single step in off-pitching result in a predictable delay in coupling? X=Y? I know we've discussed this before, but I have not clearly understood that the intention was to delay the stabilization, which I'm calling coupling. Which may not be exactly what you mean.

In any case, if you work with Spear or the other good programs, I hope you will post or publish what you find, both in relation to the contribution of longitudinal waves and in relation to what happens in general with off-pitched unisons.

But we are wandering from the immediate subject of which piano wire to use. My apologies. But an analysis of the same note played on different wires, tuned by the same tuner, and struck with the same hammers at the same velocity, etc, might reveal something about the difference in wires. Or has this experiment already been done?


Edited by Jake Jackson (02/09/13 10:06 PM)

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#2030075 - 02/09/13 08:38 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Jake Jackson]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The tonal change when switching out hard carbon wire for "softer wire" has been verified aurally by many independent workers. Of course we could all be under a mass illusion. Taking pictures of the difference is very useful no doubt though.

As far as manipulating the L-mode when tuning-I have never been able to do this knowingly. The pitch of the L-modes changes so little compared to the tuning of the T-modes as to be essentially non-existent. Changing the absolute pitch level of the piano can bring some L-modes and T-modes into a different consonance than exists at the previous pitch. I think the only difference unison tuning/phasing/coupling can have on L-mode is to change the resultant bridge vectors in a way that reduces/increases L-mode reinforcement/creation at the bridge.
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#2030080 - 02/09/13 08:47 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5224
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Olek
DO you believe those USB acquisition (sound) cards are worth the money ? (I mean Roland something , about 220 USD)

Well, you need something. The Roland Quad Capture is one of the sound cards recommended by SpectraPLUS. It's USB-powered and supplies phantom power to the mics.

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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#2030119 - 02/09/13 10:01 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
No, no. I did not mean to question if the different wires create a different timbre\partial structure. I was only talking about quantifying how the different factors discussed above (the break point, etc, and changes in the unisons, getting off-subject) contribute to the partial structure.


Edited by Jake Jackson (02/09/13 10:02 PM)

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#2030268 - 02/10/13 05:02 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Hi thank you Jake for the ideas.

We know that we have a tone change when we use new strings, and one when we change the wire quality, or provider, or tensile strain.

When tuning I listen for a very fast and dynamic effect that is obtained with a particular coupling. There are so many parameters that it is not easy to take one and say it is the major one but it should be examined.

Ian send us links in another thread to recent investigations that tend to show that the Lmodes are used a s a Vector and a reserve of energy if I understand well.

What is called "wire solicitation" could well change the behavior of the L modes, by providing them a different media quality.
In any piano we obtain tone clearing and reinforcing with manipulations at the bends, the coils, with the way we "harden" the tuning pin.

At the same time there is a definite spectra change, less "free" partials ringing, everything begin to be well policed.


exerps from Ian post :
Professor David R Rowland, an Australian, has come up with the formulae. These abstracts summarise his conclusions.

http://iopscience.iop.org/0143-0807/32/6/003
"The question of the correct formula for the potential energy density in transverse waves on a taut string continues to attract attention ... the longitudinal motion of elements of the string needs to be taken into account, even though such motion can be neglected when deriving the linear transverse wave equation ..."

http://iopscience.iop.org/0143-0807/34/2/225
"Introductory discussions of energy transport due to transverse waves on taut strings universally assume that the effects of longitudinal motion can be neglected, but this assumption is not even approximately valid ..."

I could not see the documents they are sold and not cheap, if someone have access I would like to know more on that if possible...


Edited by Olek (02/10/13 05:44 AM)
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#2030272 - 02/10/13 05:29 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The tonal change when switching out hard carbon wire for "softer wire" has been verified aurally by many independent workers. Of course we could all be under a mass illusion. Taking pictures of the difference is very useful no doubt though.

As far as manipulating the L-mode when tuning-I have never been able to do this knowingly. The pitch of the L-modes changes so little compared to the tuning of the T-modes as to be essentially non-existent. Changing the absolute pitch level of the piano can bring some L-modes and T-modes into a different consonance than exists at the previous pitch. I think the only difference unison tuning/phasing/coupling can have on L-mode is to change the resultant bridge vectors in a way that reduces/increases L-mode reinforcement/creation at the bridge.


Hello , what do you mean with switching from hard carbon to softer ? do you mean recently, or changing from old hard types of wire for less hard as it could be done when using standard modern wire probably on some pianos of the late 19th.
(or simply from Mapes to Roslau, in some case)
No one made specrta analysis of those changes ?
It is so simple to realize . the time series show how the spectra evolve differently, if the Lmodes play a large role in energy conservation that should make sense with what I have noticed .


For the Lmode if we had a good theory on their activity we could try to check it on experiments

Then, I dont know if my unison tuning is trying to brake the coupling or to fasten it wink

My primal theory is that there are enough inconsistency in the iH to allow for reinforcing /coupling at one level or another, but if I do only that, I dont find all the energy regulation I am used too. As said ALfredo, quality may regulate the quantity, but in the end you can at any time lower the "quality (number of partials coupling) for the lower, at the benefit of quantity (more fundamental at the attack) by playing very strong and tuning with immediateness.

This will please many Jazz and percussive players.

but not possible with soft wire in my experience, the high partials are always reinforcing in larger quantity than fundamental (unless little tension is used, then the iH raise seem to allow a little thickening of fundamental)

Older qualities of soft wire when we listen to them are hardened and modified, and I tend to appreciate some part of their spectra and behavior I never find in our modern wire.

One of the theory is that it relate to the phosphorous traces in the metal. I have been described such a wire.

"You install the new wire, bring it to pitch, and it tones almost immediately, while keeping the pitch"

That wire is said to be less resistive to breaking , but I have seen it used with a high level of yeld stretch (?)

THe Suziki wire seemed to have partly that old French wire tone quality, to my ears. But I suppose that the metallurgy of wire is using different material today than even 30 years ago...
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#2030343 - 02/10/13 09:09 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Jake, that "SPEAR" program (free) is exactly what allow to analyse my samples,

It is amazing , really oriented sound analysis , with all time and frequencies related controls.


I have a half step rise or a little less (sometime the opposite but generally sharp, at the attack time.

The straightening and reinforcing of the second partial is clearly apparent, I used the original wav file, however

I like the option to listen only to a range of partials

the screen miss a little contrast but it is really interesting .

I like to find correlations, but I am afraid I cannot really understand how to chase for them.

Thank you again for pointing this

I believe the L modes are visible, as some "phantom partials" but due to resonances from other strings it is not easy to be certain of their origin. If I could have some spreadsheet to compute the quadratic partials based on original frequencies and original Lmode, that may help me to point look at the good frequency ranges





Edited by Olek (02/10/13 09:12 AM)
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#2030406 - 02/10/13 11:17 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Olek
Jake, that "SPEAR" program (free) is exactly what allow to analyse my samples,...I like to find correlations, but I am afraid I cannot really understand how to chase for them.


I may not understand. You could record the same note again and again on the same piano, and just change the one variable--the unison offsets for each recording, and then compare the wave files in Spear to see if there is a corresponding change in the time of the stabilzation\coupling? In other words, you would create a wave of the unisons at near perfect unison pitch,and then with them at .5 cents off, and then another with 1 cent off, etc and see if Spear revealed an X=Y correlation. But I know your work well enough to know that I don't have to explain what an experiment is to you--I'm probably not understanding your hesitation.

But seeing the timelines for each partial can be a little staggering and tricky, since you must compare each result by eye. One thing that might help, assuming that you have a way to control the velocity of each strike so that each recording keeps that variable regular:

Use a screen-capture program to take a snapshot of each Spear result and then print them onto transparencies so that you can overlay the results and see the changes more easily. In other words, capture them, paste them into Word, and then print them onto transparencies (the clear plastic sheets that US office supply stores sell for about ten US cents each, I think) using a laser printer.

Did you see, as well, that with File\Export, one can save the results as a text file? Not as a spreadhsheet file, unfortunately, but one can add codes to the text file and then import it into Excel for a more deliberate analysis.

I believe that, after capturing the Spear results, since they are saved as a graphic file, you can also just open them in a program that lets you make each image semitransparent to varying degrees, and thus stack several of the images together without printing. And then post the combined images for us and others to see, yes? But I do not know graphics programs well. Can someone else step in here to offer a suggestion?

Again, however, I have helped to veer from the original topic. A set of transparencies showing the results of different piano wires would be more on point.


Edited by Jake Jackson (02/10/13 11:20 AM)

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#2030472 - 02/10/13 12:43 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Olek;
I use the term "softer" in a generic way to mean the slower-cooled high-carbon steel like Paulelo O, I, II and Puresound stainless. I don't mean the difference between any work-hardening that used wire exhibits compared to new.

I am having trouble understanding what you refer to with the L-mode and unison tuning. (Of course your English is far superior to my French so please take no offense regarding your word usage context). You seem to be saying that the pitch of the L-modes can be altered during T-mode tuning. I don't think that can happen. I have always had the impression that any pitch "bending/blending" when tuning unisons is primarily at the fundamental T-mode.

The lowest two octaves or so of the compass have the greatest unison coupling window to my ear. I seem to notice that what little fundamental is present is significantly increased by unison coupling.

We do need to organize an independent test of all the piano wire types now available to establish Young's Modulus, Breaking point, elastic limit, and L-mode frequency and relative amplitude between the most similar wire sizes.

I have been trying to interest the PTG Foundation to fund this work.
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#2030575 - 02/10/13 02:59 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Olek;
I use the term "softer" in a generic way to mean the slower-cooled high-carbon steel like Paulelo O, I, II and Puresound stainless. I don't mean the difference between any work-hardening that used wire exhibits compared to new.

I am having trouble understanding what you refer to with the L-mode and unison tuning. (Of course your English is far superior to my French so please take no offense regarding your word usage context). You seem to be saying that the pitch of the L-modes can be altered during T-mode tuning. I don't think that can happen. I have always had the impression that any pitch "bending/blending" when tuning unisons is primarily at the fundamental T-mode.

The lowest two octaves or so of the compass have the greatest unison coupling window to my ear. I seem to notice that what little fundamental is present is significantly increased by unison coupling.

We do need to organize an independent test of all the piano wire types now available to establish Young's Modulus, Breaking point, elastic limit, and L-mode frequency and relative amplitude between the most similar wire sizes.

I have been trying to interest the PTG Foundation to fund this work.


Those tests should be interesting. I only wish to understand better how we interact with L-modes while tuning unisons (if we do) I know they cannot be tuned as such

Are they difficult frequencies to compute ? I wish to find a spreadsheet allowing that (unless I dont have enough parameters to enter) So when I see some strange partials in the display I can be sure they are L modes, or phantom partials (I have a nice Pan flute effect sometime)

About the wire, I thought hardness was related to carbon content, hence more hardness for Mapes than Paulello, there are different steel qualities if I understand well (plus different way to treat them indeed)

If cooking the wire would suffice to produce a soft wire we would be using the process yet (all tests provided awful sounding and unuseable wire, without enough strain resistance)

Dumb question : is the MOE different between different steel wire due to different metal quality, or does the process also play a role ?

Thank you for the comments : I know my English is limited , I do my best wink

I listened to the higher partials in my unison record, that is interesting some partials have a very neat and long sustain, some others appears just for some time then back , and some seem to have nothing to do there !
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#2030815 - 02/10/13 09:47 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Olek]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Piano wire from Mapes is annealed by quenching in oil as it comes out of the dies. This is what I think they described to me. I assume that Mapes, Paulello, Suzuki and Roslau all have the same ratio of Carbon to Iron. It is the heat from drawing and the quench rate that leaves the wire with a hard skin around a softer core. Sort of like a Katana.
If we try to anneal in an oven we won't get the difference between outer and inner hardness.
I can't answer the Dumb question either but it seems like a smart one to me. I'll look up MOE info and see what I find.
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#2030859 - 02/10/13 11:57 PM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21392
Loc: Oakland
Annealing steel is done by heating steel and letting it cool slowly. Quenching heated steel will harden it.
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#2030950 - 02/11/13 06:14 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
As I recall the description, the wire hardens during annealing because it is draw in holes more and more thin, that creates heat, I dont know if it is immediately put in an oil bath, but at some point it is too hard and need to be passed thru a heat bath (lead bath?) so it is ductile again, then the more passes in the drawing machine after a cooking bath the more the wire harden (on the external, as Ed said)

So depending of the speed of the passes, the number of passes and the number of baths the final wire is more or less hard. (that is the explantions I was given)

Drawing more slowly may anneal less, or allow to have less cooking baths. I have to check the documents.

Oil is used to lube during drawing, I was not aware it could be done in a later state of cooling, but possibly.

I thought that Mapes wire have different qualities, some with a higher carbon content hence more resistance.

the chemical composition of the steel used may vary alittle between Paulello, Mapes, Suzuki and Roslau.

the process is born in 1836 or 37 : Steel wire for music strings, patented and cold drawn. (I believe that patented is the name for the lead baths)



Edited by Olek (02/11/13 06:37 AM)
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#2030952 - 02/11/13 06:28 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7414
Loc: France
Standard SS1774-04 EN 10270-1-SM DIN 17223 B T Standard spring steel wire.

SS1774-05 EN 10270-1-SH DIN 17223 C T Music wire.

SS1774-06 EN 10270-1-DH DIN 17223 D T Piano wire with increased tensile strength.

The "oil hardened" wire is another category, by international standards.

MOE seem to be the same for all the kind of piano wire , as the chemical composition, on that site :
(they sell phosphore bronze wire and stainless wires as well)

http://catalog.lesjoforsab.com/pdf/en/chapters/210-211_EN.pdf



Edited by Olek (02/11/13 06:36 AM)
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#2220322 - 01/25/14 12:21 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 487
Loc: CO, USA
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Roy123
The difference in using Pure Sound stainless, Type O and Type I wire in the foreshortened plain tri-chords, and in the lowest single and bi-chord wounds as core, verses using fully modern wire is readily heard. The only logical explanation is the difference in how these softer wires propagate and sustain Longitudinal mode. James Ellis's work on L-modes shows lower frequency and amplitude of L-mode in the stainless wire he tested. Paulello's wire was not available then.

I have an article titled "Hybrid Wire Scales" to be published in the PTG Journal sometime after my coming March article titled "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale". There are several Tech's working on these protocols in the US now and for some time in europe. They beat us there. Paulello has done some amazing work.

I tried some 25 years ago the get Mapes to soft anneal select sizes of wire to do some work along these lines-although my thinking at the time was that the inharmonicity would be lower. I seem to be mostly wrong on that prediction. Evidence now shows that L-mode is a more significant source of objectionable sounds than inharmonicity in the piano than previously thought.


Greetings Mr. McMorrow-

Would you please email to me a reprint of your article "Hybrid Wire Scales" discussed above, if it has come out.

(the gmail address is in the 'view profile')

Best regards-
_________________________
phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
G. F. Hndel: Suite in G minor (HWV 452)
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014) duet with violin

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#2221831 - 01/28/14 10:51 AM Re: The right wire for late 19th century grands [Re: phacke]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 487
Loc: CO, USA
This is received. Thank you very much, Mr. McMorrow.
Best regards-
_________________________
phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
G. F. Hndel: Suite in G minor (HWV 452)
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014) duet with violin

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
My Steinway M birth information.
by ciftwood
08/19/14 08:30 PM
Breathy tone
by JoelW
08/19/14 07:59 PM
HELLO!!
by Synner
08/19/14 07:23 PM
I have been deceived
by WurliFan
08/19/14 06:25 PM
Tracking down a grand piano in Vancouver, BC
by King Bhumi
08/19/14 06:20 PM
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