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#2043979 - 03/06/13 02:48 PM sugary drinks and bass strings
BEN120N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 30
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,

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#2043984 - 03/06/13 02:54 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 450
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
New strings.
_________________________
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

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#2043986 - 03/06/13 02:55 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21582
Loc: Oakland
New bass strings, new dampers perhaps, new hammers perhaps, to do it correctly.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2043987 - 03/06/13 02:58 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
BEN120N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 30
Thanks for the prompt and unequivocal replies.

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#2044002 - 03/06/13 03:30 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3339
Originally Posted By: BEN120N
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,


What everyone else said.... and beat the student who did it.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2044177 - 03/06/13 09:27 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2110
Loc: Maine
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2044193 - 03/06/13 09:52 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: David Jenson]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!


All good responses -- Including beating the student(s) responsible.

For a contrarian position, if I were in an experimental mood, I'd unhitch the bass strings and give them an alcohol bath and scrubbing. Water with a surfactant could also be attempted but there would need to be a way to completely dry the strings. (Heat gun?? Hair dryer??)
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2044219 - 03/06/13 11:00 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: kpembrook]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3339
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!


All good responses -- Including beating the student(s) responsible.


thumb
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2044258 - 03/06/13 11:50 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Let the offending student suck them dry...
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2044328 - 03/07/13 04:44 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2021
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Keith,

Given the unanimous sentiments here, I wouldn't have written this of my own, but as you've already posted a contrarian position: from a chemist's perspective, I would suggest a two-stage cleaning process:
1) Warm water with a little surfactant, to dissolve the sugary spill, preferably followed by a rinse in clean, warm water,
2) Alcohol (or even acetone) to remove the water and act as a quick-drying solvent, followed by judicious use of a hair drier (someone posted about this recently) or personally I'd consider a 10 minute stint in an oven at about 85-90°C (190°F), but I'm not sure whether this would affect the work hardening of the steel and/or copper wire.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2044329 - 03/07/13 04:44 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7660
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: BEN120N
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,


Plus the taste of the drink get awful when mixed with bass strings
_________________________
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#2044420 - 03/07/13 09:23 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4197
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Removing the bass strings and cleaning them is virtually the same amount of work as replacing the set minus the cost of bass strings.

Bathing the strings, drying them etc etc is probably the longer process. There is no guarantee all of the contamination will be removed.

Replacement bass strings guarantee success of tonal return.

Soon thereafter the top hinge will have to be removed and cleaned too.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2044493 - 03/07/13 12:04 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Removing the bass strings and cleaning them is virtually the same amount of work as replacing the set minus the cost of bass strings.
<snip>

Soon thereafter the top hinge will have to be removed and cleaned too.


If the bass strings were simply unhitched, there would conceivably be less time.

Absolutely right about the top hinge.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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