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#2023196 - 01/29/13 02:08 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Joe it is not really to the point you may break a string, usually.
Exercices are NEVER done with sustain pedal engaged (which is the most efficient method to create string breakeage, the sounboard is more free, the energy received by the wire is really higher and bass strings may have a facility to make a large motion for a longer time)

The action suffer from intense playing the capo, the keys, strings can break by metal fatigue but then it is time to change them

I am sure I could break a string while tuning, I dont.

Generally playing brutally on a misfunctionning piano (hammers and voicing first but 1 mm letoff is also a risk) make string break in my opinion.


Edited by Olek (01/29/13 03:31 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2023233 - 01/29/13 03:11 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
Yep. And there you have it.

"With great strength". Like any strength, it is patiently developed over time. Power can be simulated by jerking the keys down producing an ugly tone and broken strings.

I was conversing with a piano teacher about this. We talk about it a lot, these days, that's why I'm boring you here with it. We both agreed, for a while, that string breaking is unavoidable in developing strength. We both went away and thought about it and came to the same conclusion separately that strength must be developed. Just like all the athletic metaphors you made.

I was talking with a student. She emphasised the importance of warm up excercises where particular attention is paid to observing musculature.

A 14 yr old kid breaking strings, particularly bass strings is doing something wrong, as my head of faculty puts it "if they do that to the pianos, what are they doing to their hands?". It would be irresponsible, as I said before, not to educate him at least how to get to keep his pocket money.

Power can be simulated in the piano by jerking the keys down. This, of course produces an ugly sound and causes broken strings

Tuners break strings by poor methods of developing a test blow.

Isaac is right in so many things he says. The playing hand in tuning is so important. Also the 1mm let off does not necessarily make it easier to play quietly if the rest of the geometry is wrong and it certainly doesn't help with string breaking or tone quality.

I return to the example of the old timers who produce an unbelievably big fat sound with no damage.

The word 'obviously' has long left my lexicon.


Edited by rxd (01/29/13 03:36 AM)
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2023243 - 01/29/13 03:42 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Some brands are pushing the strings breaking limit far, also.

Our strings are not provided with normalized metal resistance (no DIN for piano wire only the producer owns parameters)

So the strenght of wire could have evolved.
I scaled an old piano originall mounted with soft wire once, to discover that modern wire would be off limits easely (and when using softer wire of today, no way to get above 15 without breaking.)

They used soft wire in the 80% yeld strech range, rausing to 95% in high treble (with a definite lowering of ih in the last sections.)

Those pianos could loose an Etd in the treble, because ih curve slow down so much.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2023261 - 01/29/13 04:55 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
I just went to this website :http://www.thepianoreview.com/piano-ratings.html The K5 is rated 3.5 stars
Quote:
Group #3
Upper Quality Consumer-Grade pianos. These instruments are mostly mass-produced and are more economical than those in the above mentioned categories.
Price Ranges $3,500-12,000.
Weber (DelFandrich Design) ****
Boston (Japanese) ****
Hallet, Davis & Co Boston ****
J. Strauss & Son ****
Yamaha (Japanese) ***1/2
Falcone ***1/2
Taylor ***1/2
Kawai (K5 , K6 , K8)<) ***1/2


According to their rating system, this model is rated between "Good" and "Very Good."

I still cannot help but wonder if this student might be exceeding the limits of this particular piano. It would be interesting to see if this student would continue to have a string breaking problem with a 1st tier piano model.

I personally like Kawais. Maybe a higher quality Kawai model if they want to stay with the same brand?

Btw, some stores do give the option of "Rent to Own." So, maybe they could try another instrument and see if the problem continues.

Edit:

Btw, in the original post:
Quote:
A customer of mine has 2 years old K5, with 3 broken bass strings in last 20 days. Always the different string. The piano is played by 14 years old boy, so I don"t think that he abuses the piano. Does any of you have similar problem with that model, or it is an isolated case here? The K5 looks like a very good instrument to me, everything else is ok with it.
_________________________
Bojan Babić
piano technician and tuner
Šid, Vojvodina, Serbia
_____________________________
bojanbabic@yahoo.com


The technician who is actually there does not think that the kid is abusing the piano. With respect, there is the possibility that the kid is not abusing the piano and that there may be some other issue.


Edited by daniokeeper (01/29/13 05:01 AM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2023272 - 01/29/13 05:28 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
Thanks for all your research, Isaac, I've suspected that about stringing.

I've also thought of having the back checks set up so that they grab and slow the hammer as soon as somebody jerks the key down yet would take all other well trained playing. I wonder how long it would stay regulated like that? I'll let you know.

I got the idea from a Brass players spring device that released all the air as soon as there was too much pressure on the mouthpiece.

There have been almost no broken strings in the jazz faculty since the new head of faculty came 4-5 years ago, a pianist himself. Whenever I stop to listen, which is more often these days, I can hear the piano clearly whatever the ensemble.
All this with no prompting from me

I had a brief conversation with a faculty member this morning as i was leaving And he was arriving and we discussed a recital and master class from Gabrilov last week. He was amazing, such controlled pianissimos...( to be honest, I didn't think that piano would respond to such control, it was the same piano that got the abuse I mentioned, but it did. his half pedaling was responded to, that's what I was most afraid of.)."and he could really lay into it" sez 'ee with a pointedly knowing look at me. "and he broke no strings, did 'ee". sez I with a nonchalant air. . ....
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



Top
#2023283 - 01/29/13 06:08 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
I just read your other post, Joe, sometimes there is a bad batch of core wire. That, of course depends on exactly which strings are broken. Where are they breaking? Which strings are broken.

I have worked on the complaints desk for a large company and can be very sceptical but always bent over backwards and gave benefit of doubt. I mostly went out personally and gave the piano a thorough going over. Is the OP the final arbiter or head tech?. Who else in the dealership can give another opinion? Has the dealership even been notified? There are guarantees to enquire into and take care of these things. The manufacturer will replace a faulty product if it deems fit without our opinion. Wonderful and fascinating as it is.

Does the tuner supervise all the practice sessions? It's difficult enough to get parents to do that when teachers request it.

I have seen chronic breaking strings where I spotted a fairly deep scratch on all the core wire of the remaining strings as though someone had run a nail file or something along them. This will create a weak spot. Have the tuner cast a practiced eye over the remaining strings and to look closely at the break in the wire of the broken ones.

Something splashed near the string could cause rust pitting. All this has been addressed. There is certainly nothing wrong with the make and model under normal use.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



Top
#2023348 - 01/29/13 09:26 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Excessive nudging while tuning also can provide bass strings some fatigue (bcause of the large angle at the upper plate pin)

While my actual overstretch method is also certainly dangerous, but I am experienced enough to feel if the wire begin to deform and be more cautious then


Edited by Olek (01/29/13 09:27 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2023551 - 01/29/13 04:53 PM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
I'm not criticizing Kawai. I think that I even said that I like Kawais in a previous post.

It seems that you folks are already working on 1st Tier pianos. If mechanical problems develop in a 1st Tier piano from heavy use, there is no where higher to go... nothing else to upgrade to. You are at the end of the road.

In this case, I still wonder if the student may be exceeding the instrument... a 3rd Tier model. Assuming, of course, that the student bears any responsibility at all for the string breakage.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2023557 - 01/29/13 05:06 PM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: rxd]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd

I've also thought of having the back checks set up so that they grab and slow the hammer as soon as somebody jerks the key down yet would take all other well trained playing. I wonder how long it would stay regulated like that? I'll let you know.


AH that backcheck thing is terrible, the hammer have always too much of a whip effect, sometime it also make the touch very heavy.

I have seen one grand piano of a major brand where the key dip have bee, lowered at the demand of the owner, then the checking was corrected, but the rub was not tested. (and they did rub, that brand is arcing the tails with only one arc, they lick too much in my opinion)

As a result the tone was too impacting strong, all the opposite from what the pianist wanted.

The technician possibly lost his nerves and voiced so much the hammers they had to be changed, with leading correction and all the work (8 days on site)

The customer was happy in that case as he had Weickert special felt on the new hammers (AA on the precedent ones)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2023687 - 01/29/13 09:35 PM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
No. Isaac, I'm not talking of anything nearly so artsy phartsy here, just to rob a little powert just enough so that when the key is jerked down on a practice piano the concciencious player is reminded.
Simple. Not clever.
It's a practice device only. It will take all playing but string breaking playing and still have a complete dynamic range. You know actions work like that if neglected long enough. (Great excuse to neglect the practice pianos).

Of course not on a concert piano. Lighten up.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



Top
#2023738 - 01/29/13 11:34 PM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: rxd]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
No. Isaac, I'm not talking of anything nearly so artsy phartsy here, just to rob a little powert just enough so that when the key is jerked down on a practice piano the concciencious player is reminded.
Simple.
It's a practice device only. It will take all playing but string breaking playing and still have a complete dynamic range. You know actions work like that if neglected long enough. (Great excuse to neglect the practice pianos).

Of course not on a concert piano. Lighten up.


Well I see what you mean. In my experience, if the hammer tail is shaped with one arc only as in Grotrian or Bechstein, it can stay relatively unnoticed in the touch, while at the same time making the impact more strong ; with more usual tail shape possibly it can work, you will have to regulate that very precisely and could have reclamations of blocking keyboard. I also believe that normal playing with force , not hardly, creates a lot of shank flex, may be more than the direct impact of brutal playing (?)

In brutal playing the knuckle leave the jack soon, then I dont know , the key touch may be its bottom before the hammer stroke but my guess was the opposite, and the string break because of that double strike hammer then key (?) may be not....
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2023772 - 01/30/13 01:18 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
Isaac.

just do it......Nike(?)

I just did it.

I just did it in 10 minutes on a bog standard practice piano. Just the simple re-adjustment.

It's doing everything I envisaged. The piano still has a complete dynamic range on every note unless I flex the shank excessively.

I can leep an eye on this piano every morning I'll let you know what happens.

In education, part of the job has too be a bit of imaginative experimentation. Sometimes hairball theories simply get in the way. We can be clever just for the sake of being clever.

"Behind every successful man is a woman"..... Telling him he's wrong!!!
It's an old joke but many identify with it. (with apologies to my girlfriends who are making my birthday last a whole week).

And that's why I have that Yogi Berra quote in all my posts.


Edited by rxd (01/30/13 02:40 AM)
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



Top
#2023864 - 01/30/13 06:43 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...It's an old joke but many identify with it. (with apologies to my girlfriends who are making my birthday last a whole week). And that's why I have that Yogi Berra quote in all my posts..."

Maybe it's time to throw in a few Sophie Tucker jokes, or one or two from Mae West. Like, "She was a girl who climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong."
_________________________
Clef


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#2023884 - 01/30/13 07:41 AM Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright [Re: Bojan Babic]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: London, England
I said "my goodness, those are tight pants, how on earth do you get into them?

She said " you can start by buying me a drink".

That sort of thing, Jeff?

I said 'would you like to get in the back seat?' She said 'I'd rather stay in the front seat with you'.

I used to travel with a standup comedy show. Ever had breakfast with 7 professional comedians? They used to try out new material on the band. If the band laughed, they couldn't use it!! ...
Except when they were dying onstage, they could always turn to the band and make us laugh til the tears ran down our legs. Ever see Carson work the band?


Edited by rxd (01/30/13 08:03 AM)
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



Top
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