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#2077825 - 05/05/13 06:26 PM elementary questions:broken string
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
I have a Kawai GM12 piano. Just got a low string broken. Someone told me that those spiral string in the low range will need to be ordered from Kawai directly. This is a little confusing for me, a piano string is a piano string, what can be the difference from the Kawai low string from the rest? Is it true that I should not consider ordering a string from elsewhere?

Thanks for any response!

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#2077828 - 05/05/13 06:32 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21928
Loc: Oakland
Kawai sends their scales to string makers, so they are available from many string makers, with the manufacturer's blessing.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2077841 - 05/05/13 07:06 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: BDB]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
Thank you! Start looking for bass string makers, with some confidence yippie

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#2077849 - 05/05/13 07:21 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1242
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: PianoYouth
Thank you! Start looking for bass string makers, with some confidence yippie


Um. I think you might want to start looking for a tech. I have never seen a string properly replaced by an untrained piano owner. It may have happened, but in 36 years, I haven't seen a credible job done, yet. There is a lot more involved than meets the eye, and permanent damage to the block can result.
Regards,

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#2077864 - 05/05/13 07:44 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Ed Foote]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
Thanks for the advice! I did plan to have the tech. staff replace it. Just can not help the curiosity about the specialty of a Kawai bass string. Not to worry, I don't have the courage to hand on my new piano. It's only half year old, still like a new baby 3hearts

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#2077877 - 05/05/13 08:40 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
If the piano is new, it should be covered by warranty unless abuse has been involved. A new Kawai shouldn't be breaking strings.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2077884 - 05/05/13 08:48 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Minnesota Marty]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
It is a new piano, came to my house with a story. There is no abuse involved, just regular practice. I still wish to confirm the need to order the bass string from Kawai.

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#2077933 - 05/05/13 10:07 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Contact your dealer! You shouldn't need to order anything. The tech will order the proper string, hopefully at no cost to you. Obtaining a OEM string in Seattle won't be a long wait. A temporary measure might be a splice, depending on where the break occurred.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078183 - 05/06/13 08:38 AM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 740
Loc: England
Not sure from the posts whether the broken string is a single or bi-chord ... if it's a single, then there shouldn't be much of a problem having Kawai sending you (or your tuner) a direct replacement. If, however, it turns out to be a bi-chord, then I would suggest having both replaced in order to ensure a perfect matched pair. All to often, one string is replaced, and even when made from exactly the same gauges of steel and copper, because they are not from the same batch, there almost always is a horrible mismatch. Likewise, when a steel string goes, I always like to change either all strings on that note or the entire 6 spanning both notes where looping affects the neighbouring note.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#2078368 - 05/06/13 02:43 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Johnkie]
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 369
Loc: Morgantown, West Virginia
I believe strings are excluded from the Kawai warranty. Mapes may have the scale in stock, and if its a bi I would replace both.
_________________________
Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.

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#2078373 - 05/06/13 02:48 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Johnkie]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1242
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
. Likewise, when a steel string goes, I always like to change either all strings on that note or the entire 6 spanning both notes where looping affects the neighbouring note.


Greetings,
This is a wide departure from my experience. The replacement steel strings I have installed don't create a horrible mismatch in the unisons. I have a number of 80-90 year old pianos, with original strings, in my care that are used by professional musicians. On several of them, I have had to replace a wire and it is a seamless repair.
It is of much more interest that the new "Standard" pianos of the world are coming out of the factory with many, many, wildly false strings, while some of the older ones are nearly free of them. I am thinking of a 1914 model 0 that has original wire,(other than one new string in the # 17 size that I am responsible for breaking). This piano has virtually no falseness and is being used in a teaching studio. Previous to that, it was in a Nashville jazz club that hosts world-wide jazz artists. I have seen it pounded on numerous times and it still tunes true and clean. It has a new action, but I wouldn't dare change strings because it sounds so good, as is.
Regards,

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#2078391 - 05/06/13 03:13 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Dan Casdorph]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Dan Casdorph
I believe strings are excluded from the Kawai warranty. Mapes may have the scale in stock, and if its a bi I would replace both.

Kawai is one of the best at standing by their warranty and going over and above what is normally expected. A string that breaks, with normal usage of a new piano, would be considered a defect in materials or workmanship.

My advice stands - The owner should call the dealer, before taking any other action, to rectify the problem.

KawaiDon - Jump in here!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078406 - 05/06/13 03:44 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3372
Strings are generally not covered under warranty. And I agree with the others who stated that if it is a bichord, both strings should be replaced.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2078412 - 05/06/13 03:53 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Wouldn't it be better to start with the dealer before making any speculations? It is a broken string on a new piano. This is not a crisis for Kawai and I am sure they have the experience to handle it correctly.

The best thing for PianoYouth to do is to pick up his phone, call the dealer, and not attempt any re-stringing on his piano, bi-chord or single!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078427 - 05/06/13 04:17 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
I would thank each of you for taking your time answering my question! Actually Kawai has done tremendous help to solve the problem of string breakage and I don't think I should expect more from them. This time it's a very low string, no. 13, the second lowest A, single spiral string that broke. So there is no problem to replace both for a good match. I plan to contact the technician to have it replaced. Earlier I was just trying to ask if the new string has to be ordered from Kawai specifically, as that is what I was told earlier. I supposed strings at this low bass must be quite expensive ...

Thank you all again! appreciated!!

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#2078440 - 05/06/13 04:33 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
You have had more than one broken string on a new Kawai? Does the piano have a "Limited Warranty" or a "Full Warranty?" Is the piano new or 'new-to-you?'
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078443 - 05/06/13 04:37 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Minnesota Marty]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
the fact is, I had another Kawai baby grand for 4 years with the big problem of string breakage. It was almost unable to function.
Kawai decided to give me a new piano half year ago with the condition that any further string breakage problem will NOT be covered by them. Just didn't expect that this problem come back so soon ... sigh!

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#2078449 - 05/06/13 04:55 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
This answers many questions.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078454 - 05/06/13 05:06 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Minnesota Marty]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
such as?

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#2078457 - 05/06/13 05:10 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
My first reaction would be playing technique, to phrase it politely.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2078458 - 05/06/13 05:13 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Minnesota Marty]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
thanks for being so polite.

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#2078462 - 05/06/13 05:25 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 369
Loc: Morgantown, West Virginia
I was told by Kawai in the past that strings are not warranted, and thats why I made that statement. They may have changed their policy, but that was my experience with them.
_________________________
Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.

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#2078467 - 05/06/13 05:32 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Dan Casdorph]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
according to my last conversation with Kawai, no, they did not change that policy, which means, string replacement is not covered by their warranty. However, they still made tremendous effort to help us, with good reasons, obviously not for piano abuse :))


Edited by PianoYouth (05/06/13 05:33 PM)

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#2078473 - 05/06/13 05:40 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Dang, Marty is right again!
There are several threads on bass sting breakage and factors involved. Search the archives. In the vast majority of cases of repeated and continuous string breakage, the problem does not lie with the piano - it lies with the operator. You were very fortunate that Kawai helped you with string breakage for four years. This speaks volumes about their customer support. As has been stated, broken strings are not a warranty issue, they are a maintenance issue.

Here is some helpful information though: Talk to your technician, ask him to get a set of bass strings made up which are slightly lower tension. The string maker can calculate a modified scaling for the new bass. This has been done frequently in this kind of situation, and the effect is very good - string breakage can be reduced to zero in many cases.

Best of luck
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2078476 - 05/06/13 05:47 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: Supply]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
it lies with the operator.

-- not agreeed by any, not even Kawai. Sorry I have to put this straight.

Here is some helpful information though: Talk to your technician, ask him to get a set of bass strings made up which are slightly lower tension. The string maker can calculate a modified scaling for the new bass. This has been done frequently in this kind of situation, and the effect is very good - string breakage can be reduced to zero in many cases.

-- Thanks so much! I'll mention this with the technician. That's very helpful! appreciated!

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#2078495 - 05/06/13 06:46 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
AndyJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: PianoYouth
it lies with the operator.

-- not agreeed by any, not even Kawai. Sorry I have to put this straight.

I dunno, I've been playing for fifty-some years and have yet to break a single string on any piano. I used to play a lot of fff, too. Granted, one player is a rather small sample, but I'm really surprised there are pianists capable of breaking strings.

Andy

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#2078498 - 05/06/13 06:56 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1229
Loc: Québec, Canada
Search for the "Shout House" thread, there are many players who break strings. Over pedaling combined with FFFF will break strings.
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2078499 - 05/06/13 06:59 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1348
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: PianoYouth
the fact is, I had another Kawai baby grand for 4 years with the big problem of string breakage. It was almost unable to function.
Kawai decided to give me a new piano half year ago with the condition that any further string breakage problem will NOT be covered by them. Just didn't expect that this problem come back so soon ... sigh!


Without knowing all the details, on the surface it is a simple question of what is the variable and what is the constant. In this case, you are the constant. There are some pianists who simply blow out strings because of the kind of music they are playing and perhaps combined with poor technique.

I know this has been the case in university settings where a particular professor blows strings and his students start to, as well. When the professor moves on to another university, no more blown strings at the first school but it starts at the second school. Professor refuses to acknowledge the issue is personal technique and what gets passed on to students.

Churches and clubs that play "enthusiastic" music also have this tendency. This is particularly true where less-experienced band members with amplified instruments expect the piano to "play up" to their maximum volume level instead of playing down to the piano as would be good ensemble technique. It is also often the case where the piano is simply too small/cheap for the task demanded. Energy can't go into the soundboard fast enough and the string suffers. Changing out to a more substantial quality of piano has also solved the problem. In your case, it may be that a GM12 simply isn't going to keep up with your energy level.

If either technique or piano quality/size are the factor, you can get new strings until the cows come home and they'll still get blown out.
_________________________
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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#2078500 - 05/06/13 06:59 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3372
Originally Posted By: PianoYouth
it lies with the operator.

-- not agreeed by any, not even Kawai. Sorry I have to put this straight.


Sorry, but I spent six years in two different conservatories and played many pianos during that time. My grad school private studio had a Kawai. Not once did I ever break a string. Some of my classmates broke dozens. Now, it's not always the pianist's fault, but it often is....
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2078505 - 05/06/13 07:11 PM Re: elementary questions:broken string [Re: PianoYouth]
PianoYouth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Seatle Washington State
Thank you all again for your time and input. I still need to confirm whether it's important to order the string from Kawai or not. Since it's been carried away a bit. I might not respond and still, thank you!

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