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#2030110 - 02/09/13 09:47 PM Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
Hey folks!

I'm new to this whole piano repair thing, but I was hoping that you guys could give me some very basic information. I have an old Schubert Piano (upright) that is missing its sostenuto rod. Guides are still there, so i can imagine where it runs, but I'm having a tough time understanding where/how it connects to the action.

I can't seem to find any photos or videos online that shows how this rod interacts with the action. Can you help a newbie out?

Thanks,
Eric
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#2030113 - 02/09/13 09:52 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
It is highly unlikely that the Schubert originally had a sostenuto. Very, very few uprights had this.
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#2030124 - 02/09/13 10:10 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
Eric, are you referring to the far left pedal (soft pedal)? If so, it typically operates a wooden dowel inside the left wall of the piano, which basically pushes the hammer rail closer to the strings, shortening the strike distance and softening the sound.

If you're referring to the middle pedal, it could have several functions. Sostenuto is by far the least common on uprights, as Jurgen said. Not very familiar with Schubert uprights myself so I'll let others answer that one for you.

Just to cover all the bases, if you happen to be referring to the RIGHT pedal (sustain, but not normally called sostenuto), it operates in a very similar way to the soft pedal, with a rod on one side or the other, but interacts with the dampers instead of the hammers.
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Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2030128 - 02/09/13 10:16 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
Thanks for the clarification! You are correct, I'm not certain that this is in fact the sostenuto rod. I'm talking about the rod that connects to the middle pedal. The rod itself would run up the right side of the piano. There are two other fully connected rods (damper and sustain, I believe).

What other applications would this rod have?

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#2030130 - 02/09/13 10:19 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
For what it's worth, here's a piano that at least looks identical to mine...
http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/257/schubert-walnut-victorian-upright-piano/

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#2030153 - 02/09/13 10:54 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21520
Loc: Oakland
There was probably a mute rail in your piano that was operated by the middle pedal. The rail and the pedal rod are often missing on old pianos. Few people miss it.

The rail would have been held in by two screws on either side of the case, about 5" in front of the strings. The holes for those screws should be evident.

Another possibility is that it is just connected to the soft pedal lever.

Less common is a bass damper sustain, which works like the damper pedal, but only on the bass notes. There would be something on the bass side that would look like what the damper pedal rod goes to.

Sostenuto is very rare, only on expensive pianos.
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#2030155 - 02/09/13 10:56 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
I've not seen a Schubert with a sostenuto.

It is a strong possibility that I could have run a practice/muffler rail. Quite often these are removed from the old uprights when the felt is either eaten away or a tech perhaps tired of it being in "his way?" Look for a couple of screw holes - one on the inside of each case end. Another clue may be a couple of stop blocks with felt cushions which seem to have no function, or leather/felt padding wrapped around the action bolts to serve as stops for that missing rail.
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#2030156 - 02/09/13 11:01 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
If the rod goes up the right side of the piano as you say, it most likely was some type of mute pedal (aka practice pedal, or silent pedal). Like BDB suggested, you might be missing more than just the rod.

EDIT: crossposted with Phil, but it looks like we're all saying pretty much the same thing.


Edited by BenP (02/09/13 11:02 PM)
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Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2030500 - 02/10/13 01:22 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: BenP]
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
Everyone, that you very much for your help on this. I think you might be right about a system having been removed. I've noticed an empty, felted screw hole on each side of the cabinet.

I am uploading a video of the piano to Youtube right now. I'll post the link when it's ready.


Edited by Hans747 (02/10/13 01:22 PM)

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#2030543 - 02/10/13 02:08 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
Have a look at what I'm talking about!


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#2030569 - 02/10/13 02:46 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
Yes, there was a muffler rail on this piano at one time that has been removed. Here's a thread that has some pictures of a similar setup on a more recent piano model:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1940144/SCHIMMEL%20:%20REAL%20OR%20NOT.html

These "practice" pedals have been standard for years on pretty much any Asian uprights, as well as most American. But the mechanism is slightly different now, it usually uses a cable system instead of the wooden rod. Some of the more experienced technicians around here would probably be able to help you more, either find or make a replacement part.
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2030578 - 02/10/13 03:02 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21520
Loc: Oakland
The rod from the pedal lever would have gone through that O-bolt, and the rail would have rested on top of it. You could bend an aluminum bar to the proper shape and glue the moderator felt to it.

I would go to a piano store and try a piano that has a mute rail and trying playing it using it engaged. You may find that you will never want to use it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2031450 - 02/11/13 07:51 PM Re: Schubert Brand upright missing sostenuto rod [Re: Hans747]
Hans747 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 10
Thanks for all the advice, fellas. I think I'm just going to leave it be for now. No use replacing what sounds like a pretty unpopular option to begin with.

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