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#2104460 - 06/18/13 03:36 PM New versus Old Hammers
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
I've fitted new hammers to my old upright, and thought it would be fun to cobble together a video showing an A-B comparison of the before and after using a Boogie impro.

I haven't done any voicing at all yet (I want to wait until I get the new strings on) so the new sound is quite bright in the treble (less noticable on the video than in real life!).

http://youtu.be/fCmPXR4xnAo


Edited by Jim Dunleavy (06/18/13 04:52 PM)
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#2104471 - 06/18/13 03:58 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 254
Loc: USA
Jim, your video wouldn't play for me. frown

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#2104496 - 06/18/13 04:34 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Here's the direct link on youtube... played fine there, but not in the linked version above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCmPXR4xnAo&feature=youtu.be
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#2104509 - 06/18/13 04:53 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Sorry, don't know why the BB Code wouldn't work - I've just replaced it with a direct link.
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#2104584 - 06/18/13 07:00 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21286
Loc: Oakland
I think you chose the Yahoo embedding, rather than YouTube.
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#2104635 - 06/18/13 09:13 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Youtube audio is always difficult to judge, but on a blind test, I would prefer the tone of the old hammers by a margin, at least for boogie. I am convinced that proper string and hammer work by a technician would improve the thin and somewhat clangy tone of the new hammers.
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#2104841 - 06/19/13 11:26 AM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Jurgen, thanks for taking the time to listen.

The YouTube sound quality isn't helping of course, but it is fair to say that the new hammers are very bright in certain areas - however, remember they are straight out of the box, with no voicing done at all. The next job is to replace the strings, so I didn't want to voice the hammers using the old strings as a reference. I'm hoping that I can vastly improve the sound by voicing appropriately once the new strings are on and settled in.

Probably boogie isn't the best style to judge the hammers by - I have a before and after of a bit of Liszt that I might put up as well, though I needed the music for that, so the piano front is on - also I tend to hit a few bum notes in that one!
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#2104927 - 06/19/13 03:26 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
What's your plan for restringing? The bass sounds pretty thin, do you think that's just the strings? I see you've made a string pattern, do you intend to replace like with like on the scale? It might be worth looking into rescaling the bass strings if you haven't already ordered the replacements.

I'm sure those hammers will mellow a bit with some voicing - what kind did you put in?
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#2104935 - 06/19/13 03:50 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Phil, I'm restringing the plain wire strings with a slightly modified scheme designed using scale ripper that smooths out the tensions and loudness by using more varied wire sizes than the original.

The bass strings are already made based on the originals, which sounded great when they were new (30 years ago!) but are now well past it. The stringmaker calculated a scale based on the first and last monochords and first and last bichords which I sent in as samples.

The hammers are Abel 100s with premium felt. I'm pleased to hear that you believe it's possible to voice them down - I was a bit worried when I first put them on that it would be difficult to tone the brightness down!

I'm putting up an A-B version of part of Liszt's Liebestraum No 3 as soon as I can get it to render properly - that actually gives a better idea of the sound of the hammers than the boogie, but has a few mistakes in it. I'm a bit short on 'before' recordings so I have to work with what I've got!
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#2104941 - 06/19/13 04:02 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

Abel premium felt gave a beautifully smooth and silky sound in my instrument . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJT5Q6HooyA before
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAW6jQaEKY after

Best wishes

David P
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#2104957 - 06/19/13 05:08 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Hi David,that sounds lovely, though it's obviously a very different piano from my small upright.

Did your hammers need much voicing?
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Jim (amateur musician and composer..and piano tinkerer).

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#2104977 - 06/19/13 05:39 PM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
I've added a video of a classical piece of music (an extract from Leibestraum No 3 by Liszt) using the same A-B comparison. It might give a better idea of how the piano sounds.

http://youtu.be/blYF7UzZjy0
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#2105160 - 06/20/13 12:23 AM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
Was it just me? A bass string was missing
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#2105243 - 06/20/13 08:35 AM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7219
Loc: France
Good result, the old hammers looked tired, but they probably could have been renewed.

And now your hammers need prevoicing - too much power and close tone.
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#2105301 - 06/20/13 11:18 AM Re: New versus Old Hammers [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Thanks Olek - I'm going to voice after I fit the new strings.

Gary, no it's not you! There are 6 strings missing altogether - they're the samples I sent to the string maker.
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Jim (amateur musician and composer..and piano tinkerer).

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