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#2046544 - 03/11/13 03:51 PM voicing Bechsteins
musicbased Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 100
Loc: UK
Hi, Im just wondering if anybody here knows the factory voicing procedure for Bechstein grands?

In Andre Oorebeek's book,he states the importance of knowing the different voicing procedures for each manufacturer, and then briefly mentions that Bechstein start with a 'thorough battery voicing' first,starting near the staple to bring up power, and then near the crown.
Does this mean that the traditional deep shoulder needling is not done?
Does anybody have experience with this?

Thanks,

Lewis.
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Technician UK
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#2046577 - 03/11/13 05:24 PM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 291
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
Are you voicing a set of hammers that were already voiced in the factory or a new set of hammers from Bechstein that you are installing yourself?
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

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#2046585 - 03/11/13 05:37 PM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7665
Loc: France
The shape of the head is different (while on more recent models I believe the voicing can be more standard)

To obtain that shape there is more felt send up so the hammer really enlarge , but the heads are also felted that way.

You need a really good rebound , somwhat slow, at FFF as the pianos is saturating soon, so making more battery (pre voicing) needling than usual make sense (and higher than usual)

near crown, I would say that we need the top of the hammer to be very well tense so I am cautious there, as the tension lower soon.
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It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2046786 - 03/12/13 01:23 AM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1720
Loc: London, England
And are you talking about a current production instrument or an older one?

How old is this Bechstein?
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2046796 - 03/12/13 02:28 AM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
musicbased Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 100
Loc: UK
Thanks for the replies.
Well it's just a general question really,but I guess I'm referring to new hammers on old Bechsteins.
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#2046844 - 03/12/13 07:43 AM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 291
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
If you are installing a new set you will have to do a pretty normal amount of needling to get them to blossom in tone. Starting at the staple area and working up. Be careful not to do much needling in the crown but do fit the hammers to the strings, and lightly needle in the strike point area so that you are only hearing the effect of the whole hammer.

The most common mistake is to assume that the brightness is coming from the bottom of the hammer and to over needle before you get to the strike point. It is really hard to talk about this without some examples to hear but you have to be careful. Use very small needles, get the strike point surface fitted and lightly corrected by muting off each string and needling only in the area that is hard under each string individually. Also on the older pianos you will have to file a bit more because the originals were probably smaller.

On Bechstein hammers coming directly out of the factory be aware that they are already needled in the shoulder area and confine your efforts to correcting the strike point issues. This should be done with the finest of needles that are very short. One or two needle strokes with a single needle will make a difference so move slowly and listen carefully to what you have done.

I also like to leave a day or so between the initial battery voicing and the final voicing, just gradually making the changes and giving the hammers time to adjust to what I've done.

I tend to use a combination of light needling and ironing, going back and forth with the two. As with other instruments, I needle a bit more on the proximal side of the hammer and iron more on the distal side. This works well with concert instruments to get a sweet tone on pppp without suffering a loss of power on ffff.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

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#2046874 - 03/12/13 09:12 AM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7665
Loc: France
If you want to listen to some interesting versions of Chopin played on older versions of Bechsteins (Steinways, Pleyel) , by reputed French pianists of the last century :

http://youtu.be/wuePtM_BhHY

On that youtube site the piano brand is given whenever available, and it is appreciated ...

Good listening...

Not to the glory of Pleyel concert grand of 1950 , nor the tuner, unfortunately, but there are other recordings on Pleyels that are way better.


Edited by Olek (03/12/13 09:40 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2046993 - 03/12/13 01:35 PM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
musicbased Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 100
Loc: UK
Thank you very much Sally!-Thats very useful. I find Bechsteins harder to voice than other pianos, they don't seem to respond to needling the same for some reason?-I've never been totally satisfied with my efforts!-Perhaps i'm making the mistake of thinking the brightness is coming from the bottom of the hammer as you said.
Looking forward to trying your tips on the next one..


Thanks for the link Isaac, i will that a watch!
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Technician UK
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#2047185 - 03/12/13 06:37 PM Re: voicing Bechsteins [Re: musicbased]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7665
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: musicbased
Thank you very much Sally!-Thats very useful. I find Bechsteins harder to voice than other pianos, they don't seem to respond to needling the same for some reason?-I've never been totally satisfied with my efforts!-Perhaps i'm making the mistake of thinking the brightness is coming from the bottom of the hammer as you said.
Looking forward to trying your tips on the next one..


Thanks for the link Isaac, i will that a watch!


On the old ones the main problem is the weight, despite a lot of felt in the basses and mediums, the weight was light (around gr4 on Renner standard hammers, then today we have not enough felt)
asking for thin gr5 heads is may be a possibility, I am curious about the one produced for the factory (for the older models) but their price is high. I am unsure Renner can provide trapezoidal heads, but I will ask (also unsure the shape would be good for the expected dynamics).

You HAVE to feel those vibes in the keys it will avoid the hard tone.
That sweet brillancy is natural tendency for the piano, as a large tone but it need to be powered or the tone get harsh.


Edited by Olek (03/12/13 06:43 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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