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#2046559 - 03/11/13 04:43 PM Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings?
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
I'm a pianist, not a technician. If I have the wound strings replaced on my piano, it is better to replace the pins as well, assuming that it is easier to wind the coils in the shop, or keep the original pins and wind the coils in situ? Also, if the pins are replaced, do they increase in size from #2 to #3 or stay the same? This is a new piano.

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#2046579 - 03/11/13 05:28 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
When the job is completed, the tuning pins need to be tight enough to last the lifetime of the bass strings - several decades of home use. On old pianos the pins are routinely replaced, in new pianos they can stay if the pins are only turned out 1.5 turns - enough to slip on the pre-coiled ends of the new strings. If pins are replaced, their size needs to be stepped up to ensure a good torque reading.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2046580 - 03/11/13 05:28 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7457
Loc: France
on a new piano you keep the pins, the only VERY important thing is to make the coils on an a pin outside of the piano, then install that coil on the pin in the piano.

That way no heat, no lowering of the friction for the pins (in the basses that could be really important as the strings can be more tense than the steel strings (but it is the same when changing the last 2 sections of wire in the treble)

On an old piano it will depend of the situation, but if the pins have to be changed it is better to change them all.

one size more, generally (unless old oval holes pin block)

Changing the 2 last treble sections is considered 12 hours job, so after having broken a few treble strings the idea to change the treble strings and to file the capo make sense.

When changing all the wire and the pins, the agrafes can be changed as well, generally (for a better tone, assuming the agrafes have some quality)

Greetings
_________________________
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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#2046586 - 03/11/13 05:37 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Thanks gentlemen, for your timely and informative replies. The piano is a M&H BB 2009. While I really like the bass sound, I have played numerous pianos in my area with J.D. Grandt bass strings, and, even on uprights there is a purity of the harmonic structure that eclipses the M&H bass clarity.

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#2046591 - 03/11/13 05:45 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7457
Loc: France
I cannot say, indeed the bass strings have a certain quality, but the soundboard also is filtering the tone.

A very good string winder can reproduce the original scaling or change the diameters for less tension (or more even) , or sometime to correct a less than optimum scale, or just because the original wire quality was different from what is available today.

I would talk directly with the bass winder, asking him in what direction he works and what can be expected on your instrument.

there are indeed different "styles" of winding, some having more "cymbal" tone than others., differnt terminations, differnt winding orientation, But the lenghts are fixed, and the transition between long bridge and basses cannot be changed much.
_________________________
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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#2046612 - 03/11/13 06:24 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
For a late model such as this one, use the original tuning pins as Isaac has mentioned. Use a dummy pin to make the coils. There is no need in this case for replacement tuning pins unless the originals have been somehow damaged, but I couldn’t see how that would come about.

For the string maker to know what sound you like it might be a good idea to try and obtain measurements of the bass strings in one of the aforementioned instruments that has improved bass sound. This can be compared to what is in your instrument now and give the string maker an idea of where you want to go with tone.

John may even be familiar already with this change on the M&H model you have there, not sure really.
_________________________
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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#2046651 - 03/11/13 07:41 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 505
Loc: So Cal
I'm not a tech either but was thinking about changing out the bass strings on my 82 baldwin L with Mapes.. Never heard of JD Grandt strings, but will look into them.. Btw: does mason and Hamlin use Mapes for bass wire?

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#2046652 - 03/11/13 07:44 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Thanks again everyone. I was hoping that I could keep the original pins, so that is good. I think John has the full specs on the current crop of BB's, and my technician has done a number of installations of the Grandt strings - just not on a new piano. While I don't want to second guess him, I do like to know what options are out there. Cheers.

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#2046653 - 03/11/13 07:51 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Gatsbee13
I'm not a tech either but was thinking about changing out the bass strings on my 82 baldwin L with Mapes.. Never heard of JD Grandt strings, but will look into them.. Btw: does mason and Hamlin use Mapes for bass wire?


Bass strings are a wrapped string. The center core might be Mapes. Best to ask M&H about that, or perhaps one of their dealers.
_________________________
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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#2046665 - 03/11/13 08:25 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
I don't know what string supplier M&H uses. I read somewhere that they upgraded their bass strings for production pianos a few years ago, but I don't know what the change-over date was.

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#2046677 - 03/11/13 09:25 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
It sounds like you are not really satisfied with the tone of the bass in your piano and that you are considering exchanging the strings as a remedy.

I would caution against too high expectations. Unless the bass strings are faulty, which is fairly unlikely, switching them from one manufacturer to another will usually only have a very marginal effect on the tone. For the most part, the tonal character is inherent in the piano scaling and soundboard design.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2046687 - 03/11/13 09:45 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Actually, I really like the sound of the bass, though I want to do a little voicing to alter the relative partial levels somewhat. Below the resonant frequency of the soundboard ( right at C2 ), the 3rd partial is a little too prominent. I am going to keep playing in the instrument for another year or so before I make any changes. The instrument is still opening up.

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#2046768 - 03/12/13 12:34 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1308
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Thanks gentlemen, for your timely and informative replies. The piano is a M&H BB 2009. While I really like the bass sound, I have played numerous pianos in my area with J.D. Grandt bass strings, and, even on uprights there is a purity of the harmonic structure that eclipses the M&H bass clarity.


You might also consider the Profundo strings by Isaac. You can hear samples of those bass strings on Grandpianoman's thread.
_________________________
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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#2046787 - 03/12/13 01:24 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Actually, I really like the sound of the bass, though I want to do a little voicing to alter the relative partial levels somewhat. Below the resonant frequency of the soundboard ( right at C2 ), the 3rd partial is a little too prominent. I am going to keep playing in the instrument for another year or so before I make any changes. The instrument is still opening up.


Perhaps I missed something earlier in the thread. Why do you state that the board has a resonant frequency at about C2? How would you measure this phenomena on a strung board? Which partials are you trying to get more or less of?
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#2046842 - 03/12/13 07:39 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Mwm]
Blues beater Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/13
Posts: 133
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Just a DIYer here. I replaced the bass strings on a 100 year old upright. I was told when I bought the strings and I was told by my tech/tuner I would need to replace the tuning pins with #2s. But they seemed tight and I did not replace them. I wound the strings onto the pegs instead of pre-forming the coils. After a few weeks of my home rough re-tuning, the bass was pretty stable and I called in my tuner/tech to do a professional tuning of the whole piano. He was quite surprised to find the pins properly tight.

Not saying that any of what I got away with was good practice, of course, just that it worked for me. If ever I want the pins tighter, there is plenty of room to drive them in deeper.
_________________________
Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, and unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate

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#2046876 - 03/12/13 09:27 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Dale Fox]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Actually, I really like the sound of the bass, though I want to do a little voicing to alter the relative partial levels somewhat. Below the resonant frequency of the soundboard ( right at C2 ), the 3rd partial is a little too prominent. I am going to keep playing in the instrument for another year or so before I make any changes. The instrument is still opening up.


Perhaps I missed something earlier in the thread. Why do you state that the board has a resonant frequency at about C2? How would you measure this phenomena on a strung board? Which partials are you trying to get more or less of?


There two checks one can do to find the rough resonant frequency of the soundboard. 1) An FFT spectrum from my oscilloscope using a full range microphone shows the peak amplitude of the board as I play the notes from A0 up. 2) You can feel and hear the increase of the fundamental amplitude as you play notes descending. It peaks at about C2 on my piano, then diminishes. No sound radiator can efficiently radiate energy below its resonant frequency, hence the relatively large amplitudes of the upper partials of the notes on the piano below its resonant freq.

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#2046877 - 03/12/13 09:29 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: kpembrook]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Thanks gentlemen, for your timely and informative replies. The piano is a M&H BB 2009. While I really like the bass sound, I have played numerous pianos in my area with J.D. Grandt bass strings, and, even on uprights there is a purity of the harmonic structure that eclipses the M&H bass clarity.


You might also consider the Profundo strings by Isaac. You can hear samples of those bass strings on Grandpianoman's thread.


I have read about Isaac's strings and heard them as well. They are wonderful. It makes the decision very hard, if I make it at all.

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#2046878 - 03/12/13 09:31 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Blues beater]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Blues beater
Just a DIYer here. I replaced the bass strings on a 100 year old upright. I was told when I bought the strings and I was told by my tech/tuner I would need to replace the tuning pins with #2s. But they seemed tight and I did not replace them. I wound the strings onto the pegs instead of pre-forming the coils. After a few weeks of my home rough re-tuning, the bass was pretty stable and I called in my tuner/tech to do a professional tuning of the whole piano. He was quite surprised to find the pins properly tight.

Not saying that any of what I got away with was good practice, of course, just that it worked for me. If ever I want the pins tighter, there is plenty of room to drive them in deeper.


I guess you were lucky. I'm glad it worked for you. Enjoy playing your instruments.

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#2046880 - 03/12/13 09:36 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Dale Fox]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox

Which partials are you trying to get more or less of?


Mostly the dissonant ones.

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#2046881 - 03/12/13 09:37 AM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Blues beater]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Blues beater
Just a DIYer here. I replaced the bass strings on a 100 year old upright. I was told when I bought the strings and I was told by my tech/tuner I would need to replace the tuning pins with #2s. But they seemed tight and I did not replace them. I wound the strings onto the pegs instead of pre-forming the coils. After a few weeks of my home rough re-tuning, the bass was pretty stable and I called in my tuner/tech to do a professional tuning of the whole piano. He was quite surprised to find the pins properly tight.

Not saying that any of what I got away with was good practice, of course, just that it worked for me. If ever I want the pins tighter, there is plenty of room to drive them in deeper.


I hope next time you will do it right, then.

tapping the tuning pins is sometime an option, but rarely, and even on a recent piano untwisting 3 turns then back , a tuning pin, will make a noticeable loss in pins firmness (possibly on your piano it did not as much because the pins where old yet and they did not "sand" the inside of the block as much.

That said , a good tune can "lock" a pin as long as the hammer does not spring back, but some torque is necessary to be at ease.
(torque is raised by the wire stress, also hence the advantage to tune at 440 whenever possible, it may eventually help the tuning to stay put)


Edited by Olek (03/12/13 09:38 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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#2047287 - 03/12/13 09:53 PM Re: Do you replace pins when replacing bass strings? [Re: Olek]
Blues beater Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/13
Posts: 133
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Originally Posted By: Olek
Originally Posted By: Blues beater
Just a DIYer here. I replaced the bass strings on a 100 year old upright. I was told when I bought the strings and I was told by my tech/tuner I would need to replace the tuning pins with #2s. But they seemed tight and I did not replace them. I wound the strings onto the pegs instead of pre-forming the coils. After a few weeks of my home rough re-tuning, the bass was pretty stable and I called in my tuner/tech to do a professional tuning of the whole piano. He was quite surprised to find the pins properly tight.

Not saying that any of what I got away with was good practice, of course, just that it worked for me. If ever I want the pins tighter, there is plenty of room to drive them in deeper.


I hope next time you will do it right, then.

tapping the tuning pins is sometime an option, but rarely, and even on a recent piano untwisting 3 turns then back , a tuning pin, will make a noticeable loss in pins firmness (possibly on your piano it did not as much because the pins where old yet and they did not "sand" the inside of the block as much.

That said , a good tune can "lock" a pin as long as the hammer does not spring back, but some torque is necessary to be at ease.
(torque is raised by the wire stress, also hence the advantage to tune at 440 whenever possible, it may eventually help the tuning to stay put)


At this time there is no need to tap them in. I tapped in a couple and my tuner said they were a little too tight. he is pretty surprised the way it worked out. And yes, I am happy to say the piano is up A440 and holding.

Don
_________________________
Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, and unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate

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