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#2043626 - 03/05/13 10:19 PM Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Hey -

I have a few questions about the pedals on my piano. I have a W. Hoffmann upright - I'm not sure how much that matters.

1) My main question is - is there an easy way to adjust the tension on a pedal? My problem is that when I rest my feet on the pedals, they fall down too easily, which is resulting in me having to hold my feet up while I'm playing. I believe that this may be creating unnecessary tension in my legs and back. I want to make it harder to depress the pedals, so I can rest my feet on the pedals without having to hold the pedals up with my leg muscles.

2) How far should a pedal go down from its starting point before it stops and is completely depressed? Mine goes down at least an inch (at the tips of the pedals). Is this standard or does it differ for every piano? Can this be changed? It seems inefficient to have to move the pedals this much.

3) How high off the ground is a pedal supposed to be when it is not depressed? Is this the same for most or all pianos?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm wondering if these things can be altered and if I can do it myself or need a technician to come take care of it. I'm a bit worried that I will need to get a new piano to solve the problem. Thanks.


Edited by pianokeys135 (03/06/13 10:55 AM)
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#2043698 - 03/06/13 01:16 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 450
Loc: Oregon Coast
Originally Posted By: pianokeys135
Hey -

1) My main question is - is there an easy way to adjust the tension on a pedal?
2) How far should a pedal go down from its starting point before it stops and is completely depressed? Mine go down at least an inch (at the tips of the pedals). Is this standard or does it differ for every piano? Can this be changed? It seems inefficient to have to move the pedals this much.
3) How high off the ground is a pedal supposed to be when it is not depressed? Is this the same for most or all pianos?


I am surprised your questions have not already been answered! I will quickly give you a suggestion or two on your piano's needs.

1. Tension; Yes, your pedal trapwork can be altered. The simplest method to increase the resistance would be to add a spring to the system, under the trapwork or the pedal itself, and give you a reasonable increase in 'springiness', for lack of a better word! A little more trouble, but certainly doable, would be to change the leverage of the trapwork by shifting the position of the fulcrum it currently uses, but that will also change the amount of 'throw' it gives the mechanism and would have to be considered more carefully.

2. How far down? As far as needed to insure that the dampers clear the strings, and it doesn't hit the floor! If your dampers are well-adjusted and even in lift, then a firm felt (such as a hammer shaving) can be used to stop the travel of the pedal. But, 'an inch' of travel is not excessive at all. Whacking into the carpet or floor would be excessive...

The other pedal(s) require at least a certain minimum to do their jobs, too. The soft-pedal on an upright should move the hammer rail about 1/2-way to the strings, limiting that throw might involve changing the geometry..again, not something to try on your own.

3. How high should the pedals be? Varies wildly across the manufacturing world, boss. Can't give you an answer on that one. If your pedals have a felt cushion at the top of the opening, and a felt cushion at the bottom (find it with a finger under the pedal through the opening), and they are not deeply worn, or just flat missing, your pedals are likely sitting just where they ought to be. There is no standard height for pedals that I've ever heard of. But...they can all be changed by altering the felt cushions that limit the travel, at least a little, to please your feet and back!

I do suggest you have a technician address your concerns, the local hobby shop or fabric store is not likely to have felt that is dense enough to use in altering the pedal travel, and certainly will not have the standard trapwork springs that your technician will likely have in his 'kit' out in the truck or car!

Hope that helps,
Sincerely,
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Oregon Coast Piano Services
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#2043783 - 03/06/13 06:33 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7175
Loc: France
The sustain pedal works as the one in your car.

The flat dampers must leave the strings around 5 mm, on a vertical, I have some precise data somewhere. the end of the move is regulated only by the cloth thickness (under the pedal)
so with time it is possible that one need to change the cloth, or even simply add a layer. If the spring weakedn it can be changed, or modified, or another spirng added, but be careful, steel springs are highly non linear,they can be too strong easily, bronze springs are way better for pedals (they are softer)

I only can find them at piano parts provider, for grands steel springs are also not the best choice (even if one can be find in Steinways).





Edited by Olek (03/06/13 06:37 AM)
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#2043882 - 03/06/13 11:31 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
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The short answer is that the height of pedals and the amount of tension on them are set in the design and the placement of the piano, and not adjustable. Even the same model will feel different due to the surface that the piano is on, or if there are different casters. So if your foot is inadvertently pressing on it when you play, you should learn to control your foot properly, because if you are having trouble on this piano, you will have trouble on others.
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#2043893 - 03/06/13 11:48 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: BDB]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Thanks for the help.

I was looking at my damper pedal again. The pedal moves downward about an inch before it actually engages the dampers, then it moves about another inch before it almost hits the carpet for a total of about 2 inches. It seems like a piece of felt had fallen out from above the pedal. I put the felt piece back in and it is now stopping the pedal about 1/2 of an inch from the top of its vertical motion, so it now moves a total of about 1 1/2 inches.

This seems to work much better. I can rest my foot on the pedal without as much of a problem with holding my foot up. I think it's still a bit weak at the top, though. Also, to fully depress the pedal, it seems to take too much effort - in other words, there is too much tension at the bottom of the motion, as well as a bit of a squeaking sound. I'm thinking that perhaps I should also put something below the pedal if I can do so without affecting the sound.

Inside the piano, there is a vertical metal bar (with an S-shaped twist in the middle) which connects the horizontal pedal with the horizontal wooden lever bar. There are two bolts that are connected to this metal bar, which can be tightened. What would be the effect of tightening them? I'm wondering if they have come loose over time.

Quote:
if your foot is inadvertently pressing on it when you play, you should learn to control your foot properly


It doesn't seem to me that the damper pedal tension should be so weak that I can't rest my foot on the pedal without depressing it, unless I engage my leg and back muscles to hold my foot up. That doesn't seem normal or correct to me - but I don't know much about how pedals are supposed to work - maybe I'm wrong. Also, I would think that it is difficult to pedal quickly when I have to move my foot up and down 2 full inches each time - I would think that less of a range would allow for quicker pedal changes.

I took some pictures, but I'm not sure how to post them...
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pianokeys135
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#2043897 - 03/06/13 11:57 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21259
Loc: Oakland
Resting your foot on the pedal enough that the pedal is depressed is as bad form as resting your fingers on the keys enough that they are depressed, and have the same bad results.
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#2043899 - 03/06/13 11:59 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Supply Offline
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Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
While there seems to be no standard height of pedals, there is certainly a range where pedaling is comfortable. Raising a piano on caster cups thicker than 1/2", for example, or changing out the casters with taller ones, can lead to problems.

A nice pedal height is somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5". Surprisingly, on some new and decent pianos, pedal height is uncomfortably high.
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#2043904 - 03/06/13 12:05 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Quote:
Resting your foot on the pedal enough that the pedal is depressed is as bad form as resting your fingers on the keys enough that they are depressed, and have the same bad results.


I suppose I would agree that you generally do not want to be pressing your fingers into the keyboard inadvertently. I would think, however, that, in some cases, a keyboard action could be too weak. For example, I would think that if a feather falling onto a keyboard was sufficient to depress the keys and trigger hammers to strike the strings, then the action needs to be heavier.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2043909 - 03/06/13 12:11 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Quote:
A nice pedal height is somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5"


Thanks. I guess my pedal is about 2" high (not depressed), so it falls about in the middle of that range. With the felt piece wedged in above the pedal - it's about 1.5" to 1.75" high.
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pianokeys135
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#2043937 - 03/06/13 01:36 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7175
Loc: France
The height if too much can be corrected, then on both pedals for visual.

Or with a small plank under your feet.

The resistance must be enough so your foot can "float" on the pedal, and the luttle play before the pedal is effective allows to avoid mistakes.

Your pedal possibly act yet a little late. There is a bolt on the back of Pedals inside the case. Screwing them make the pedal stronger and sooner. Leave some play, same as a car.
The bottoming is just stoped by a thick cloth inside the aperture, so at last you will need some 2/8 inches felt to raise that thickness by adding layers (the same for the rest position.

Glue only the back half of the squares of felt you may add . A new cloth of the good thickness would be ideal , it is changed from time to time, exactly for the problems you state , plus noises.
Nothing a curious enough person could not make himself but finding the cloth may be difficult. Piece of fabrics folded and glued together on their half, could do the trick... Your technician could have some if you ask him beforehand, and having the good thickness, not always. Unless he regularely repair pianos.


Edited by Olek (03/06/13 01:38 PM)
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#2043949 - 03/06/13 01:47 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7175
Loc: France
My 20 years W Hoffmann :
Height around 95 mm move around 55 mm (both are too much) the piano have casters
My 25 years W Hoffmann mod 114 :

Height 55 mm bottoms at 15 mm . The cloth I installed are not thick enough by 2 mm, but it is Ok

The pedal when fully pushed may not raise the dampers much more than tge keys. A little only.
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#2043988 - 03/06/13 02:58 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: Olek]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1935
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Olek
The pedal when fully pushed may not raise the dampers much more than tge keys. A little only.


Thanks for this info. I didn't know this. It's useful to know.
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#2044075 - 03/06/13 06:42 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
On uprights it is not a big deal. On most uprights, the pedal will raise the dampers higher than the keys will, and no player is the wiser. Grands - a different story....
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2044092 - 03/06/13 07:01 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7175
Loc: France
Yes no big deal but not to be really excessive. if they move twice the amount with the key for instance .I have data about that somewhere.


Edited by Olek (03/06/13 07:02 PM)
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#2044121 - 03/06/13 08:09 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
This reads to me like the pedal nut requires tightening to take up the lost motion in the right pedal rod.

In some uprights if the pedal rod has lost motion, the pedal will drop just by touching it.

Also the OP mentions that the pedal goes down almost to full extension before the dampers lift. That is another indication of pedal adjustment.

If the OP puts something under the pedal to stop travel there is a good chance the dampers will fail to lift at all. I believe the pedal set in this case is way out of adjustment.

For photos they can also be uploaded to a photo service and a link posted here. Picasa3,Dropbox, Photobucket, if that one is still around; lots of them available online for no charge.
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2044129 - 03/06/13 08:19 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Thanks Olek.

I was curious about tightening the nuts on the bolt attached to the pedal, but there is a nut on the bottom that's really hard to get to. Unfortunately, I don't have a ratchet that will work on it. I would just need to hold the bottom nut in place, and then I could tighten the top nut by hand. (I tried turning the top nut, but the bottom nut is just spinning around so nothing is accomplished.) I thought of going to pick up a ratchet. I'm not sure what the size of the nut on the bottom is. My guess is that it would be metric. I'm hoping a technician will call me back tomorrow - Maybe they will be able to give me some guidance.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044130 - 03/06/13 08:22 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

number ten or 3/8ths should work.
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2044134 - 03/06/13 08:30 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
Use vice-drips on the rod, push down on the lever, and use another pair of pliers to unseize the top nut.


Edited by accordeur (03/06/13 08:31 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#2044136 - 03/06/13 08:35 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Ugh. Can't get drop box to work. Maybe because it's https?

Anyway, vice grips on the rod are a good idea. That way I don't have to go out and buy a ratchet. Not sure if I would need to tighten the bottom nut for any reason, though. Thanks.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044142 - 03/06/13 08:42 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
I guess I can just post links to the photos.

Here are the links to the pics -

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

The second and third pictures show the piece of felt that I stuck into the top part above the pedal.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044144 - 03/06/13 08:44 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
The bottom nut is probably part of the rod, you can't tighten it. You can hold on to it. Probably... Vice grips or just needle nose pliers with strong hands.

Pushing down on the lever so that the rod sticks out is more important, to find out what is actually happening .
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Jean Poulin

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#2044146 - 03/06/13 08:46 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Thanks - I'm going to try the vice grips and see what happens...
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044153 - 03/06/13 08:53 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
By the way, I'm not clear on why I'm supposed to push down on the lever. What do you mean by the lever? Is that the long wooden bar that goes across? I guess I could push it down when I turn the top nut. The top nut doesn't seem to be stuck, so I think I can just turn it.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044155 - 03/06/13 08:58 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
Yes, push down on the long wooden lever, while holding the pedal and the rod up. I usually do it with my left hand. Palm on the lever and fingers underneath the pedal. Squeeze until the nut goes up.

A lot easier to turn the nut with no pressure on it.
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#2044160 - 03/06/13 09:03 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Ok. Yeah - I'm tightening the top nut now, after pushing down on the lever. Now when I fully depress the pedal, the dampers are going way past where pressing a key puts them. I guess I need to stop the pedal underneath now by putting something under it - so that the dampers go about to where pressing a key brings them to? I had to take the felt out of the top because the dampers were still lifted when the pedal hit the felt on the top once I tightened the top nut.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044162 - 03/06/13 09:05 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
Yes
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Jean Poulin

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www.actionpiano.ca

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#2044163 - 03/06/13 09:09 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
The hard felts that people use under chairs and furniture on hardwood floors work great.
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Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2044165 - 03/06/13 09:13 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Wow - I can't believe this is working. I'm really excited! Thanks. laugh

I have a piece of felt that fell out of the opening that the pedal goes into (not sure where it came off though). So I put a piece of folded paper under that. Seems to be working ok for now.

I tightened the top nut as far as it would go, but I guess the dampers are slightly uneven because some notes have a good staccato and others are bleeding a bit. I guess I need to loosen the top screw a bit until I get a good staccato from all the notes?


Edited by pianokeys135 (03/06/13 09:13 PM)
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044166 - 03/06/13 09:14 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
If the dampers take off too soon, you tightened the nut too much. If the pedal was too high for your taste, you need to add felt at the top, and loosen the nut.

Are you mechanically inclined?
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Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2044171 - 03/06/13 09:17 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: pianokeys135
Wow - I can't believe this is working. I'm really excited! Thanks. laugh

I have a piece of felt that fell out of the opening that the pedal goes into (not sure where it came off though). So I put a piece of folded paper under that. Seems to be working ok for now.

I tightened the top nut as far as it would go, but I guess the dampers are slightly uneven because some notes have a good staccato and others are bleeding a bit. I guess I need to loosen the top screw a bit until I get a good staccato from all the notes?


Yes you tightened it too much. The pedals need "some" lost motion, much like the rest of the action. Call your tech for the rest, pedals are easy! wink
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Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2044174 - 03/06/13 09:23 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Ok - I see how it works I think - You have to find the right tightness of the top nut and then add felt on the top or bottom of the pedal to accommodate what you want.

I'm not sure if I'm mechanically inclined or not - I worked as a carpenter for a few months but then I went in another direction. I liked doing it though. Also, I just moved into a new house, and I've been enjoying learning how to fix things up.

I would rather be playing the piano than fixing it - I can say that smile I just really don't want to wait for a technician...It can take weeks to schedule sometimes, and I want this fixed.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044176 - 03/06/13 09:26 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: pianokeys135
You have to find the right tightness of the top nut and then add felt on the top or bottom of the pedal to accommodate what you want.
You have to find the right tightness of the top nut and then add felt on the top or bottom of the pedal to accommodate what you want.


Yes! smile

But call your tech soon as well.


Edited by accordeur (03/06/13 09:28 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
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Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2044180 - 03/06/13 09:30 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
OK. Thanks so much for the help. I really appreciate it. I think I've got this figured out now. I guess there are probably other ways to approach this or fine tune it (like adding a spring) - but I think I can at least put something together that works for now until the tech can come.
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pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2044181 - 03/06/13 09:31 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Québec, Canada
All the best!
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Jean Poulin

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#2044200 - 03/06/13 10:35 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: Mark R.]
Mwm Offline
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Registered: 02/20/13
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Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: Olek
The pedal when fully pushed may not raise the dampers much more than tge keys. A little only.


Thanks for this info. I didn't know this. It's useful to know.


On my M&H, when the damper pedal is fully depressed, depressing a key fully further raises the damper by about a millimetre. This seems to be opposite to your requirement. I do not have the knowledge to determine if this is within normal parameters. Any thoughts anyone?

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#2044207 - 03/06/13 10:47 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
accordeur Offline
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Ideally the keys lift dampers about the same as the pedal.

On grands and uprights the mechanics are quite different. So if you are talking about a grand, it's another story.

On grands, the dampers can actually "jump" up enough for you to feel their return in the key. That is why there is a damper stop rail.

On uprights, the dampers are spring activated, another story all together.

Bottom line is to make them work.
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#2044214 - 03/06/13 10:56 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: accordeur]
Mwm Offline
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Thanks for your input, though I am confused by your answer. I have a grand. Please explain in a little more detail. This is interesting.

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#2044215 - 03/06/13 10:57 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
BDB Online   content
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If the damper pedal does not lift the dampers as much as the keys, it might be possible to have the sostenuto pedal hold only the notes played even if the damper pedal is being used when you use the sostenuto pedal. That would be an advantage.
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#2044218 - 03/06/13 10:59 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Mwm Offline
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What a cool thought.

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#2044470 - 03/07/13 11:08 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
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I did not understood it is a grand they raise the dampers about the same with pedal or keys, my usual tip is to see the flat dampers rise 5 mm with the sustain pedal.

If there is a sustenuto pedal it is common that this pedla rise the dampers a mm more than the sustain pedal.

Hence a little more play (up) allowed with the note at full dip (the damper head can rise 2-3 mm on white keys, less on black keys because they will be higher yet)
Above 4 mm free raise of the damper when a key is bottoming you begin to feel the damper return in the key and this is disturbing.
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#2044472 - 03/07/13 11:10 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: BDB]
Olek Online   content
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Originally Posted By: BDB
If the damper pedal does not lift the dampers as much as the keys, it might be possible to have the sostenuto pedal hold only the notes played even if the damper pedal is being used when you use the sostenuto pedal. That would be an advantage.


Could it be made volontarly ? little raise of the damper with the pedal is takin a risk with wedged felts (ringings)

you may need to play firmly enough so the damper sustenuto tab is passed frankly
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#2044557 - 03/07/13 03:23 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Ugh - ok - so I tightened the top nut as much as I can while still maintaining a decent staccato, but the pedal still doesn't have enough tension on it. If I tighten the top nut all the way, that might be enough tension but the dampers won't be sitting on the strings any more while not pressing the pedal and the staccato goes away...


What are my options at this point? I guess one is to put an additional spring in or do something with the U spring, like move it's location along the wooden lever or put in a stronger U spring. Maybe another is to shorten the vertical dowel that runs upward from the end of the wooden lever, so that I can tighten the top nut more without loosing the staccato? Is there a way to adjust when the dampers are coming off the strings at some point after (above) the vertical dowel?
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#2044565 - 03/07/13 03:38 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianokeys135


What are my options at this point?


Call a tech, make an appointment.
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#2044567 - 03/07/13 03:39 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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I did that! It takes them a while, so I'm trying to figure something out in the meantime.
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#2044578 - 03/07/13 03:52 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
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Did you tighten the screws that hold the U spring . You could cut a little the rod but forcing on the spring too much can make it break. Usually there is no real problem with pedals. On a grand a new spring is used on verticals a shim can add some tension
.on my pianos the pressure needed is more than enough, may be 2 kg. Is your Hoffman dating after 91 ?

I changed som U springs that broke because of low quality. Beforethen tgey where too light.
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#2044579 - 03/07/13 03:54 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Easy to figure out; it is called patience.
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#2044591 - 03/07/13 04:01 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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"Patience." I'm not familiar with that one... laugh

My Hoffmann is a few years old. Maybe a 2010 or some time around then.
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#2044593 - 03/07/13 04:04 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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The U spring screws seem to be ok. I don't really want to play around with those - It would make me nervous. Maybe I'll go to the hardware and see if they have any springs that might work temporarily. I'm not a technician, so I don't want to do anything too serious like cutting the vertical dowel or moving the U spring location without working with a technician, but I don't see the harm in sticking a small spring in the hole that the pedal goes into, under the pedal.
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#2044610 - 03/07/13 04:16 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
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Yes I understand, we dont move the location as we need the good leverage but the spring can be stiffened a little if it is in good condition.

W. Hoffman made in Langlau had good parts, (where among the finest German verticals) then the brand have been baught by Bechstein and the original factory closed, the first pianos where build by Petrof and possibly the pedal spring is a little soft or misplaced.
More recently the models where buil by the Bechstein factory in ex RDA, the quality of the accessories is suppose dto be good in all cases


Edited by Olek (03/07/13 04:17 PM)
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#2044612 - 03/07/13 04:16 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
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Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Best of luck with the instant gratification.

As Isaac has stated previously the U springs are subject to breaking at the bottom of the curve.

I think the U spring is broken or has deformed and is on its way to breaking.


A half inch diameter coil spring under the pedal. Going to be noisy....
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#2044617 - 03/07/13 04:18 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
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I installed yet a coil spring under the U (the problem is to find an adequate spring)
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#2044746 - 03/07/13 08:05 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
OK. I put a 1.5" (length) spring underneath the pedal with a piece of felt under the spring. The spring is right inside the front panel underneath the pedal. It seems to be a pretty snug fit, so I don't think it will come loose. The tension is sufficient to hold my foot up, but now it seems like it might be too difficult to hold the pedal down in a fully depressed position! shocked Maybe loosening the top nut a bit will help. This is like the Goldilocks problem. Not too hot not too cold...

I think I'll just leave it for now. I wonder, though, if a 3" (length) spring inside of the U spring would have better results. It's not silent the way it is now, but it's not overly loud either. It might actually be quieter than it was before I started fiddling with it. I could probably play around with this thing forever, but instead I'm going to get back to practicing for now!
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#2050592 - 03/19/13 01:40 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
I've recently noticed that on grand pianos, the pedals seem to be set a few inches farther back from the keyboard (I'm referring to the horizontal distance from where the white keys end to where the pedals are), which gives you a few extra inches of leg room on grands as compared to uprights. I've been sitting at grands lately and I find that the extra space makes sitting at a grand seem more comfortable to me than sitting at an upright.

Are there standard dimensions for this horizontal distance between the end of the keys and the pedals on grands and/or on uprights, or does this tend to vary from piano to piano?
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#2050609 - 03/19/13 02:28 AM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
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It varies. Grand pianos tend to have the pedals set up so the soft pedal is at the back of the keys to avoid making a complicated lever, and longer grands tend to have longer keys.
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#2050790 - 03/19/13 12:09 PM Re: Pedals - Adjusting Pedals & Pedal Height [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
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Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Thanks BDB.

I didn't know that longer grands had longer keys. I assume that longer keys would allow for a better keyboard action (more control for the player)? Also, do grands generally have longer keys than uprights?

I guess I was talking about the front of the keys where I wrote the back of the keys in the post above. I was trying to discuss the horizontal distance between where the white keys end (on the end of the keys closest to the player) and where the pedals are positioned. I guess it makes more sense to refer to the end of the keys that is inside the piano as the back of the keys and the end closest to the player as the front of the keys.

I suppose I should look at some diagrams or pictures of how the pedals connect to the internal mechanisms of the piano to understand how the geometry and spatial relationships between keys and pedals are set up.
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