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#2045417 - 03/09/13 09:06 AM Old upright - long echo / sustain problem
kapelli Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Poland
I have a piano that is not about 80 years old. It's beautiful as furtniture, has 2 pedals and moderator (the thing that is giving cloth between hammers and strings, don't know does the english word is the same).

The action is very light and needs regulation, however its' being reguaraly tuned.

NOW IS THE PROBLEM.
After pressing and releasing the key, when all dampers are on strings, the sound is vibritaing, sustainig, there is like echo (looking for good word here) in the piano for abou 10-12 seconds, and the volume of sound - pp or ff - doesn't change this time a lot.

I don'know the all history of my piano, however it's big concert-grand like upright about 135cm tall. The last 15 years it spend unfortunalety near the radiator, it was put there by my parents whose didn;t know anything about piano placing at home.

However, do you think is it possible to reduce this sound sustain (echo?) in the piano? It's not a problem while playing easy things or songs, but when I play Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms ect, I just can't hear the 50% of sound, everything is mixing with previous notes. I like this piano - but due to this effect I also hate this piano frown

Looking for help here, because in Poland everybody is saying "it's just beauty of this piano and we cannot do anything". And this make my bad.


Here is my recording, after the last note you will clearly here what I am talking about, the video is not good itself it was recorded by som mid-priced Canon camera. All without pedal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8VITEXzQcs

Second recording - at the end of the piece is the same (also second 27 and the end oc octaves) - also without pedal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGk20RcQBlE


Here is not my piano, but you can see the interior and height,
exactly the same compay I have
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq6ZFMR_-yc




Edited by kapelli (03/09/13 09:18 AM)

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#2045443 - 03/09/13 09:50 AM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

When dampers pads are worn in combination with older damper springs at times the old parts do not function as they should and the dampers “bleed” sound that is called ghosting. It is the wire continuing to vibrate even with the old damper applied and that sound echoes within the cabinetry.

Because some of the larger uprights have such strong sound, at times, even with new damper pads ghosting on some of the larger uprights is impossible to eliminate. It can be reduced of course by adding in new parts.
_________________________
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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#2045444 - 03/09/13 10:03 AM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6061
Loc: Rochester MN
I just wanted to interject, Kapelli, you play very well! Very clean technique and rhythmic precision. I like it!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2045448 - 03/09/13 10:14 AM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: Minnesota Marty]
kapelli Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Poland
Thank you Marty!

The action and all part are oryginall.
Once techncian told me that "there's no need to change the dampers they can in piano in whole his life and are ok). So, after I resigned but while reading this forum I see that there is still hope smile

Here are the photos of exterior.
When I will load the camera battery I will take a picture of action.






Edited by kapelli (03/09/13 10:16 AM)

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#2045477 - 03/09/13 11:28 AM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 783
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Step 1. Check the pedal regulation. Maybe it is too tight. Open piano. Look at dampers while gently tapping pedal ever so slightly. Dampers should NOT move. If they do, find nut or something on top of pedal and loosen.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2045586 - 03/09/13 05:16 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Hello kapelli,
Jak się masz?

Two additional things come to mind...

1) Since the piano was placed near a radiator for a number of years, I wonder if over-drying could have affected the bass bridge. I would check the bridge for splitting, if it has come loose from the apron, or if the apron has developed cracks and has allowed the bridge to change positions slightly. If the bass strings have moved out of alignment with the dampers for any of these reasons, the bass dampers will not work as efficiently.

2) In your videos, it "appears" as though some of the hammers are not resting on the hammer rail. I cannot tell for sure, but if this is the case, then the lost motion adjustment (capstans) are too high... at least on those notes. If the capstans are too high, then those dampers may not be returning far enough when the key is released to efficiently damp the string.

-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2045594 - 03/09/13 05:40 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
kapelli Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Poland
daniokeeper,
mam się dobrze wink

Thank guys for answers, tommorow I will do some photos of the action, maybe even I will do some film, but I don't have good recording camera (but I have Nikon D80 which I like a lot and can do fantastic pictures).

I will also do the pedal test and see the results.

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#2046329 - 03/11/13 03:43 AM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
2) In your videos, it "appears" as though some of the hammers are not resting on the hammer rail. I cannot tell for sure, but if this is the case, then the lost motion adjustment (capstans) are too high... at least on those notes. If the capstans are too high, then those dampers may not be returning far enough when the key is released to efficiently damp the string.

-Joe


The third video is not the OP's piano...
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#2046524 - 03/11/13 03:09 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
There's a diagnostic test to find if the dampers aren't seating properly due to badly adjusted spoons or capstans. With the front and fallboard off, play the offending note and when you let go and hear it ring on, just press the back end of the key, past the balance pin, down. If this causes the ringing to cease, then you have either a capstan that is too high or a badly-adjusted spoon. If the capstan is too high then you will also see the hammer move back when you press down on the back of the key.
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2046558 - 03/11/13 04:41 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
kapelli Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Poland
OK,
A took a look on the action, did some detailed observations and:
- hammers on last three octaves ->trash (there's nothing to shape). In the low octaves hammers are ok (they can be shaped)
- hammers strikes as they want, not always straight to the strings
- damper felt is meshy and very very soft
- when I put the pedal down - to MarkCerisano - at first very slightly move the dampers are not moving. When I press the pedal little lower, the dampers are going back from string UNEVEN. One is still on the string, the other near is 2mm back from the string
-> Phil D about your test I need to think little bit more to do it properly, however I tried this today on some keys and hammers were on their positions


Today I'm too tired to do some photos, eventually tommorow I will take the action out and do photos as well as in the piano itself.
I will also do some my own DAMPER TEST - I will take a big straight wood or metal bat, soften it with some felt and with a lot of force I will put this on strings with pedal down. I will see how the piano will react and how much time will need to be totaly quiet.

The action is made by LEXOW. I didn't yet found the action number, so I could determine the age. However it's younger than 1934 because of some medal inside the piano.

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#2046583 - 03/11/13 05:34 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
It sounds like the hammers are very worn the center pins are loose and sloppy, and the dampers are not working properly. This is quite typical of a piano that is 80+ years old.
To get the piano's mechanism into the same good shape as the outside of the case requires a complete action refurbishment.

This is not cheap and by what you write, it may difficult to find someone local who is capable of doing the job properly.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2046596 - 03/11/13 05:49 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
kapelli Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Poland
Supply, I think you are completely right, that do all or nothing,
otherwise it makes no sense. During reading this forum I opened my mind to the action case.

I have two people in my area... around 100km... maybe three,
who are capable to do this in a proper way and with passion. Maybe something has changed through the years wink There's a lot of tuners in my area, but a only few action repair specialists.

Ouside of the piano is in fact in avery good condition, with some minor deffect, but,
it has it's own years.

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#2046645 - 03/11/13 07:20 PM Re: Old upright - long echo / sustain problem [Re: kapelli]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 316
Loc: UK
You could do it all yourself!!However, even if you do not want to buy a book on how to repair a piano, or look up instructions on the internet, then you will probably find it worth while to have it repaired professionally. A new piano like that will be very expensive and it may not have the tone you like.

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