Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2028647 - 02/07/13 09:57 AM Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks?
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Hi,

I am going to bite the bullet and reshank our 1970 Yamaha C7. I've got a couple of sample Tokiwa shanks, and they fit nicely, but if I got the entire set I'd have to re-pin every one of them to get exactly 3 grams on the center pin. I hear on WN&G shanks don't need you to do this. I am happy with the current hammers and plan to keep them for now.

I am intrigued by the carbon fiber concept on the shanks. Though I am a geek I am not an early adopter - I always buy the latest & greatest after it has been around long enough for the worst bugs to come out and be fixed.

So far I have gotten two inputs from people I trust, one of them a poster here and on Pianostreet.com. The two opinions can be summarized as "I am not really interested in carbon fiber, but the real leader in this technology is Kawai", and "the top manufacturers, like Renner, are sticking to wood". Another opinion I got from a senior experienced rebuilder is "I've switched and never looked back, there is no question that carbon fiber is superior" (Note: He also sells them).

The question is if there is something to the traditional view on wood, or if carbon fiber is actually a superior material for shanks. The argument on their stiffness seems appealing to me.

I have contacted Mason & Hamlin to find a local dealership here in the Washington, D.C. area so I could try an instrument with the carbon shanks. I have not gotten a reply yet...

I herewith open (or better - re-open) the discussion... wink


Edited by Airspeed (02/07/13 10:03 AM)

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

#2028655 - 02/07/13 10:08 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
W,N&G carbon shanks have a smaller diameter than wood ones. This will not allow you to use the present hammers as a loose fit like that is not sustainable over time.
I have used several sets of the carbon shanks-they are superior in the touch, tone, and stability issues.


Edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT (02/07/13 10:08 AM)
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2028669 - 02/07/13 10:29 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Tim Sullivan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 78
Loc: Muskoka, Ontario
I've never heard of anyone replacing shanks and flanges without replacing hammers as well. The labour involved in re-using the hammers is almost as much as a new set. 43 year old Yamaha hammers are not worth keeping. As for the choice between wood or carbon, I would go with the WNG, though the Tokiwa parts are perfectly suitable. Your tech may have a preference. Good luck.
Tim
_________________________
I'm a piano tech and dealer in Central Ontario.
www.huntsvillepiano.ca

Top
#2028695 - 02/07/13 11:39 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5226
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Airspeed
I am going to bite the bullet and reshank our 1970 Yamaha C7. I've got a couple of sample Tokiwa shanks, and they fit nicely, but if I got the entire set I'd have to re-pin every one of them to get exactly 3 grams on the center pin. I hear on WN&G shanks don't need you to do this. I am happy with the current hammers and plan to keep them for now.

I am intrigued by the carbon fiber concept on the shanks. Though I am a geek I am not an early adopter - I always buy the latest & greatest after it has been around long enough for the worst bugs to come out and be fixed.

You can use your current hammers but it’s not recommended. You will have to shear the original hammershank (leaving the original hammershank wood in the hole as a plug) and redrill for the smaller size of the carbon fiber tube. Not an easy task unless you’re equipped with some kind of hammershank drilling jig designed for the purpose.

Generally both are replaced at the same time and the new hammers are bored to suit.



Quote:
So far I have gotten two inputs from people I trust, one of them a poster here and on Pianostreet.com. The two opinions can be summarized as "I am not really interested in carbon fiber, but the real leader in this technology is Kawai", and "the top manufacturers, like Renner, are sticking to wood". Another opinion I got from a senior experienced rebuilder is "I've switched and never looked back, there is no question that carbon fiber is superior" (Note: He also sells them).

“Top manufacturers, like Renner, are sticking to wood” because they have decades of experience with wood action components and millions of dollars of investment in the machinery, tooling and technology needed to build them.

“Plastic” piano action parts got a bad name when they were first introduced using very unstable materials. Similar materials were used in automobiles and a myriad of other consumer products. I can recall seeing advertisements for and automobile—Chevy, I think—that used a “genuine plastic” steering wheel. Those steering wheels cracked just like those action parts did. Today, though, we would laugh at a Ford salesman trying to belittle a Chevy because it used a “plastic” something-or-other. Yet it is still the perception of some marketing and salespeople that they can convincingly belittle the use of plastic parts in a competitor’s product.

Kawai led the pack on this. Thankfully they have resisted the (mostly) untrue criticism of their “plastic” action for more than forty years and now when a competitive salesperson tries to disparage them it usually comes off as a sad joke on the salesperson.

I don’t know of any piano manufacturers other than M&H using the Wessel, Nickel & Gross action in regular production as yet but I know some are working with samples. It is available as an upscale option on Steingraeber pianos and I fully expect several others will be making them at least optional in the near future.

Many technicians—including myself—have worked with them enough to become comfortable with them. They are now my action components of choice.



Quote:
The question is if there is something to the traditional view on wood, or if carbon fiber is actually a superior material for shanks. The argument on their stiffness seems appealing to me.

I have contacted Mason & Hamlin to find a local dealership here in the Washington, D.C. area so I could try an instrument with the carbon shanks. I have not gotten a reply yet....

There are many differing views on these parts and materials. Rather than repeat them all here yet again, I’d suggest you do a search of the archives and read what has already been written on the subject. There should be quite a lot of material there. You might also do the same on the Technicians Forum.

You won’t find “dealers” for these parts; you’ll find technicians who use them and include them in the work that they do. We all purchase them directly from Wessel, Nickel & Gross.

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

Top
#2028719 - 02/07/13 12:14 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
They are also available from Brooks Limited.

The shank shearing and re-drilling makes for less uniform drilling results. The bit will wander more because of the differing grain angle between the plug and the moulding.

This is not a job for a DIY or novice unless you just enjoy down time for your piano.

Replacing the stock Yamaha hammer with a softer, lighter type like Ronsen makes would be an upgrade if installed by a skilled tone-regulator.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2028723 - 02/07/13 12:22 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
bhammatt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Alabama
I contacted Mason & Hamlin a few times in the fall......still haven't heard back from them. If you are looking to see these "in action" you may try contacting Nina Butler at Wessell Nickel & Gross directly. She is exceptionally helpful and was able to direct me to a showroom with new M&H pianos in stock with the new synthetic actions and carbon fiber shanks.

Top
#2028742 - 02/07/13 12:49 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5226
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The shank shearing and re-drilling makes for less uniform drilling results. The bit will wander more because of the differing grain angle between the plug and the moulding.

I didn't say it was the recommended procedure but it can be done in a workmanlike way. Using the correct style of drill bit and a good drilling jig will keep the holes centered.

The first time I saw this done was on a set of hammers on a new Steinway B that had come directly from the factory drilled that way. The original set of holes were too low; they had been redrilled, installed and shipped.

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

Top
#2028743 - 02/07/13 12:55 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: bhammatt]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Originally Posted By: bhammatt
I contacted Mason & Hamlin a few times in the fall......still haven't heard back from them. If you are looking to see these "in action" you may try contacting Nina Butler at Wessell Nickel & Gross directly. She is exceptionally helpful and was able to direct me to a showroom with new M&H pianos in stock with the new synthetic actions and carbon fiber shanks.


Thanks - this is very helpful, I will follow up on this suggestion. It seems the consensus here is in favor of the WN&G shanks, but for obvious reasons with new hammers. Now I have to decide which ones, and if to order pre-bored to WN&G diameter, or do it myself (I have a jig).

For those of you concerned about DIY messing with piano: I have worked on my own uprights and grands since I was a teenager. I have replaced broken shanks before, replaced broken strings, glued hammers, & so on. As mentioned above, I have a boring jig. Recently I acquired a junk action and taught myself pins & bushings. I am also enrolled in a tuning/technicians course, but it is more of a remote study setup. Though I'd love to take an exam some day for the heck of it (& to prove that I can), I make my living in another field altogether. I don't do this kind of work to save money - I do it because I enjoy understanding and working on the things I love.



Edited by Airspeed (02/07/13 12:58 PM)

Top
#2028839 - 02/07/13 04:10 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Had a Kawai with carbon fiber. Loved the action.
Sold that.
Tried $$$$ Euro pianos.
The WNG action was a major factor in my Mason & Hamlin purchase. The Euro pianos seemed to have a lag compared to the M&H.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A

Top
#2028894 - 02/07/13 05:39 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Airspeed


Thanks - this is very helpful, I will follow up on this suggestion. It seems the consensus here is in favor of the WN&G shanks, but for obvious reasons with new hammers. Now I have to decide which ones, and if to order pre-bored to WN&G diameter, or do it myself (I have a jig).


Keep in mind, hammers need more than boring. You will have to taper the sides (to remove excess weight and allow clearance), which requires a table saw and tapering jig, and you will have to arc the tails using a jig and belt or disk sander. Depending on the hammer mass, you will have to cove the inside of the molding as well. If you are not prepared to do this, you will have to order this work already done. A word of caution on hammers... WNG shanks are significantly more rigid than wood, and in my experience, using hard and massive hammers with these shanks will make the piano sound bad in the treble section. I would use 16lb Ronsen hammers with Weickert or AA felt.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2028905 - 02/07/13 05:55 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Airspeed
Originally Posted By: bhammatt
I contacted Mason & Hamlin a few times in the fall......still haven't heard back from them. If you are looking to see these "in action" you may try contacting Nina Butler at Wessell Nickel & Gross directly. She is exceptionally helpful and was able to direct me to a showroom with new M&H pianos in stock with the new synthetic actions and carbon fiber shanks.


Thanks - this is very helpful, I will follow up on this suggestion. It seems the consensus here is in favor of the WN&G shanks, but for obvious reasons with new hammers. Now I have to decide which ones, and if to order pre-bored to WN&G diameter, or do it myself (I have a jig).

For those of you concerned about DIY messing with piano: I have worked on my own uprights and grands since I was a teenager. I have replaced broken shanks before, replaced broken strings, glued hammers, & so on. As mentioned above, I have a boring jig. Recently I acquired a junk action and taught myself pins & bushings. I am also enrolled in a tuning/technicians course, but it is more of a remote study setup. Though I'd love to take an exam some day for the heck of it (& to prove that I can), I make my living in another field altogether. I don't do this kind of work to save money - I do it because I enjoy understanding and working on the things I love.


We help the DIY piano crowd. We can provide you with the appropriate WN&G shanks -- either naked or with hammers pre-hung. PM me if this seems useful for you to explore. Another forum member is approaching completion of his action rebuild using WN&G shanks/flanges with Isaac pre-hung pre-voiced hammers.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#2029035 - 02/07/13 10:40 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Del]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA



The first time I saw this done was on a set of hammers on a new Steinway B that had come directly from the factory drilled that way. The original set of holes were too low; they had been redrilled, installed and shipped.

ddf [/quote]

In the OP's piano it seems the hammers are original so the bore location is not in error. It is when you plug and re-drill in the same location that the grain interferes.

The further post from the OP show he is not a neophyte at piano technology. I wish him well on his work and progress to become a more skilled and experienced Tech!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2029176 - 02/08/13 07:05 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Airspeed,

Since you are in the DC area, you might inquire at Jordan Kitts and see if they still have a C series Yamaha that has new WNG parts. This is not a new piano but one they upgraded and have/had for resale.

Good luck,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

Top
#2029188 - 02/08/13 07:35 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Hello Airspeed!

I'm one of Keith Akins's (Kpembrook) customers, but in no way am I prompted for the glowing report I'll give him here.

He sold me WNG shanks and flanges and Isaac Cadenza Hammers for my 1954 Baldwin L.

I replaced the materials myself, but Keith hung the hammers to the shanks.

Other than having a keen mechanical sense and a childhood curiosity with our family piano (much worry for my mother!) I had never done a complex and detailed job like this before. The WNG materials are a dream to work with and the results have been fantastic!

For me it was a difficult but very satisfying process, and now I have an intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny of my instrument.

Even if you don't use Keith as a supplier, I urge you to at least talk with him.

all best on the journey!

Forrest Halford
_________________________
Graham Fitch's Piano Pedagogy Site
(A WORTHY RESOURCE!)

--------------------
current studies:
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque
Beethoven Op. 78
Bach WTC 1, C# Major (#3)

Top
#2029230 - 02/08/13 10:09 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Thank you all for this outpouring of support!

The decision is obvious: I'll have to get the hammers pre-bored and shaped, maybe even already hung.

I have also contacted Jordan Kitts - their name was also given to me by Nina Butler. This is funny - the current owner is a former high school classmate of mine.

In terms of hammers, I see the recommendation for 16lb Rosen hammers. What about Abel? This will be the next decision.

Also, I will contact persons recommended to me here on this thread about having the hammer work done.

Thanks again!

Top
#2029344 - 02/08/13 02:30 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3546
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I hope you don't mind if I ask a little side question here, Aispeed.

When substituting these carbon fiber shanks and lighter hammers, does there need to be a corresponding alteration anywhere else in the action to keep things in balance? I'm thinking the keys, specifically. Do they need some weights to be removed to maintain optimal balance in the system? What is the procedure for working this out? And what would happen if this wasn't done, or wasn't done correctly?

Top
#2029394 - 02/08/13 04:35 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: ando]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 621
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: ando
When substituting these carbon fiber shanks and lighter hammers, does there need to be a corresponding alteration anywhere else in the action to keep things in balance?

A qualified yes, because balance is a relative term. If Airspeed was happy with the touch previously, and wanted it to feel identical or nearly identical to how it feels currently, changing hammer mass, depending on how much the total strike weight is changed, would alter the inertia of the action. You would be changing the dynamic feel of the instrument in play.

This, for many reasons is not in itself a bad thing, as many clients when offered a little less resistance in play, decide they like the change. If he really wants to maintain the inertia he presently has, assuming the hammer weights are not changed grossly, there are other modifications that can be made, either in the geometry, or actually inserting lead into the hammer molding.

The changed strike weight, more resilient hammers, shanks of consistent stiffness, and shanks which shimmy less at impact will also effect the tone. With a Yamaha, this could be an improvement ,or, depending on Airspeed's tastes, not.

Just be aware of the possibilities and opportunities beforehand.

I think its a good move, but be prepared to tweak.

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

Top
#2029395 - 02/08/13 04:36 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: ando]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1124
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: ando
I hope you don't mind if I ask a little side question here, Aispeed.

When substituting these carbon fiber shanks and lighter hammers, does there need to be a corresponding alteration anywhere else in the action to keep things in balance? I'm thinking the keys, specifically. Do they need some weights to be removed to maintain optimal balance in the system? What is the procedure for working this out? And what would happen if this wasn't done, or wasn't done correctly?


Greetings,
The shanks don't change the weight of the action, per se. You can select a wide variety of knuckle distances, but the parts themselves don't change any of the action weights. Lighter hammers, yes, that will change the feel a lot.
The big benefit of the WNG parts is the pinning can be set very light and still maintain control that exceeds what is available from cloth, and these parts are not going to warp and twist after you have regulated them. They are more consistent than wooden parts will ever dream of, and they seem to stay that way.
Regards,

Top
#2029401 - 02/08/13 04:52 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: jim ialeggio]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
[quote=ando]If Airspeed was happy with the touch previously, and wanted it to feel identical or nearly identical to how it feels currently, changing hammer mass, depending on how much the total strike weight is changed, would alter the inertia of the action. You would be changing the dynamic feel of the instrument in play.

This, for many reasons is not in itself a bad thing, as many clients when offered a little less resistance in play, decide they like the change.


Let me fill in some details of what is going on: When I bought the piano, it was a bit heavy. The vendor told me to play it an see what happens - it has been completely rebuilt except for the action (Key bushings are new, damper mechanism redone, including pins and bushings, hammers though reshaped only, dhanks, bushings & pins original). It had been lubricated at the knuckles.

Instead of the piano losing up it got worse, and then the middle C would not come back up. That's when I discovered I had 1.5 swings on many of the hammers. So about half I was able to loosen up with technicians lube and get them somewhat back into spec (about 7 swings). The rest I repinned. Now the ones I did not repin are acting up again. And I still have not touched the knuckles, though I replaced one shank and could feel an immediate improvement with the new knuckle.

Then the reshanking started to make more sense. Instead of messing with the remaining pins, and then still having to worry about the knuckles, why not do it right and do the whole shebang?

So I WOULD like to action to be a bit lighter, even on the ones that are working right now. My previous piano was a 1986 Bosendorfer 200.

Top
#2029517 - 02/08/13 08:55 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If you like the Bosendorfer touch, the carbon shank can help you get there. Bose's have very few leads in the keys and the hammers are narrower than Yamaha. This reduces weight. Bose's have lower inertia in their action than most pianos.

Narrower hammers are easily accommodated by the narrower carbon shanks.
Ronsen can easily make you a set of slightly narrower hammers with the light maple moldings. I would not play around with the leverage beyond getting a set of shanks with 9 or 9.5mm dia. knuckles, this keeps it simple. Reduce the key leading to a max of 2 front leads (Yamaha use larger dia. leads than most), in the bass tapering to no front leads around F above middle C. Taper the hammer sides and shape the shoulder felt after they are glued, until the static touch weight drops to the low 60's at note 1 slowly tapering to low 50's at 88. The top octave or so will likely need lead at the back side of the key.

This "action" plan will also bring the tone up to a generally very good level for a 14 to 16lb Ronsen hammer. Some 8 to 1, (acetone to clear lacquer) at the top octave will be needed.

Good luck!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2029700 - 02/09/13 07:30 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Ed, thanks for this.

What is interesting about all this is that I am more concerned about touch than tone. The reason I originally thought of keeping the old hammers was because I am really quite happy with the sound & tone of this particular C7. I've played a bunch of others, and none had quite the power and singing ability of this one. Actually an impressive instrument, and I am a tough critic.

But the touch needs work at this point...

Top
#2029819 - 02/09/13 10:57 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Airspeed

But the touch needs work at this point...


I'm all for WNG parts, but if you are trying to solve touch issues, I think this is an inappropriate, or at least unnecessarily complicated way of trying to solve it, especially if you like the way the piano currently sounds. More likely than not, the wood shanks on your piano are perfectly usable. Lubing action centers is notoriously unreliable way of solving friction issues.... you should have replaced all the center pins from the get go, and maybe even re-bushed them.

I like Eds suggestion of changing the knuckle diameter. You could do this to the original shanks, and it'd be a 2 for 1 deal since they could probably stand being replaced anyway.

Followed by a thorough friction treatment and regulation, I bet your piano would see a tremendous improvement.... for a fraction of the cost of new shanks/hammers. I mean, seriously, the parts alone for new shanks and hammers would cost you somewhere in the $800-$900 range, or more, if you get them pre hung. Kind of a waste unless you want to get the WNG just for the sake of having WNG parts... I'm doubtful that this, by itself, will solve your problem. If you are determined to go through with this, you can get 16lb Ronsen Weickert hammers from Dale Erwin pre bored, etc; that is who I use.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2029827 - 02/09/13 11:10 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21396
Loc: Oakland
I am reminded of one of the CFIIIses that I had to tune for a pianist I consider as one of the technically best in the world. The touch of this piano had been altered by adding paper clips to the shanks, which had bothered me. The pianist complained, so I had half an hour before the house opened to move all of these paper clips. I did not want to remove them, because I was concerned that the spring tension would be wrong, and besides, it was not my piano.

There are any number of problems in a piano that can be fixed just by standard methods, and can be made worse by complicated methods.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2029833 - 02/09/13 11:20 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I am with BDB on the paper clips to increase touch resistance. It is not that much more work to remove a key-lead, (if you have the proper tools) and then the rep springs stay where they are, the action controls at soft playing is better, the key return is quicker, and fortissimo playing is less tiring. Inertia is a bitch!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2029834 - 02/09/13 11:23 AM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Oh I forgot to add to my post about W,N&G changeout that the treble will sustain and project even more with the lighter hammers and even better-the regulation and stability of tone quality will be ever so much improved.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2029877 - 02/09/13 12:52 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Airspeed Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 23
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Original knuckles are 9.78 mm (I guess that really means 9.75). This was my original course of action - just replace the knuckles first. Maybe I should just do that, and re-pin the other shanks I have not pinned yet. This does not seem like a very expensive approach, and if I still don't like the results, then I could think about other steps?

Why would smaller knuckles make a difference?

Again, my other thought was just swapping out the shanks with Tokiwas, keeping the old hammers. That also seem actually pretty straightforward to me. I would then get the original knuckle size, though. A full set of shanks runs around $500.


Edited by Airspeed (02/09/13 01:07 PM)

Top
#2029880 - 02/09/13 01:03 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1959
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Smaller knuckles means less "bump" at escapement. New knuckles means more even friction.
Your latest plan sounds like a good approach for starters. You can glue the new knuckles in like gluing hammers except have the top action upside down on bench and line up new knuckles with straight edge as you dry-fit each one before gluing. You can avoid bumping recently glued ones by alternating installation from center to end to opposite end of the action.
To remove old knuckles I use my small band saw to cut the core nearly flush with shank and then band saw down center of core stopping just before bottom of slot. Use utility knife to remove remaining core and the slot will look just like new.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2029896 - 02/09/13 01:38 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 621
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I am with BDB on the paper clips to increase touch resistance. It is not that much more work to remove a key-lead, (if you have the proper tools) and then the rep springs stay where they are, the action controls at soft playing is better, the key return is quicker, and fortissimo playing is less tiring. Inertia is a bitch!

Yeah...except that the techs who take the advice to add the clips to the shanks are looking for an increase in Strike weight for tonal reasons...mostly. This is part of the "heavy hammers are required for good tone" approach...an approach that I disagree with wholeheartedly. It is an approach which is only just recently beginning to feel a push back back from the larger tech community...as in...there are many ways to shape the tone of a piano.

Adding Strikeweight may have a place in some very large venues and for some pianists on the top of the pile, but my experience has been that these pianists are muscular outliers. The instruments they play and the large venues they play in have singular tonal requirements that 99% of the rest of fine pianists will suffer under.

Jim Ialeggio



Edited by jim ialeggio (02/09/13 01:39 PM)
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

Top
#2029927 - 02/09/13 02:37 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Airspeed]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3308
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Hello Airspeed,

We are currently working on a Yamaha C7 from a similar vintage to yours. We are using some WNG parts in it, but based on the clients goals and our experience, we have chosen to use wooden shanks.
As an aside, for those that think the WNG shanks don't change the touch, I suggest you weigh them and compare that weight with wooden shanks. You might be surprised. We were.

I invite you to call me to make an appointment to try the C7 we are working on, as I think it will give you important information that you don't currently have.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#2029959 - 02/09/13 03:51 PM Re: Tokiwa or Wessell Nickel & Gross shanks? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1124
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman


As an aside, for those that think the WNG shanks don't change the touch, I suggest you weigh them and compare that weight with wooden shanks. You might be surprised. We were.


Greetings,
I don't know about that. The actual weight of the shank on the scale indicates the WNG shanks weigh more, but the distribution is such that the SW is little changed, since the heaviest part of the shank is farthest away from the hammer.
I think this is an easily recovered few tenths of a gram and a small price to pay for the evenness the carbon fiber makes and the stability it produces. For that amount of control, felt bushings would be pinned at four to five times as tight, so changes of touch of such small amounts can be afforded in the overall picture. Getting solid directional stability with only 2 grams pinning resistance opens up a fair allowance for the extra weight. Replace the capstans with the WNG anodized ones and you will be well ahead.
Also, I am noticing what seem to be much more defined string grooves in the hammers of the WNG actions I have put in the practice rooms. It follows if the bushings are so definite that the impact will be, too.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
82 registered (aesop, Ben_NZ, AndrewJCW, Allard, 22 invisible), 1134 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75898 Members
42 Forums
156857 Topics
2304761 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tuning my piano with an app
by johan d
08/22/14 03:14 AM
Tuning a piano
by johan d
08/22/14 02:14 AM
Yamaha CLP-430 or Roland RP-401?
by masterboy
08/22/14 01:22 AM
NY Steinway in Russia
by victor kam
08/22/14 12:38 AM
DAMPP CHASER
by tksler
08/22/14 12:05 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission