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#2118202 - 07/15/13 08:31 PM Key Leveling Immortalized on Film
Chris Storch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Massachusetts
Can anyone postulate a reason why a key leveling job like this would have made it to video? It looks horrible.


The Amazon.com review of the DVD quotes Clavier magazine, Walden Hughes the reviewer:
"This is a visually stunning disc choreographed with unusual camera angles and recorded on 1925 Bosendorfer in splendid condition."

I can't verify the "in splendid condition" remark, but the "unusual camera angles" drew my attention to the key leveling instantly.

I know there are some techs whose goal is to set aftertouch as evenly as possible by varying the dip. But I've never heard of varying the key height to achieve evenness of aftertouch.

I'm at a loss as to why the keys looks like this. Any theories? Would this have been done on purpose?
Chris Storch
Acoustician / Piano Technician

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#2118214 - 07/15/13 08:42 PM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22063
Loc: Oakland
Although I would not leave them like that, it certainly reinforces my belief that spending too much time on things like leveling keys is just a waste of time and money. A good pianist will play well despite little discrepancies in regulation.
Semipro Tech

#2118253 - 07/15/13 09:44 PM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3411
This certainly wouldn't have been done on purpose. Yes, there are little discrepancies that come up during regulation, but not to the degree that is evident in the video.

Consistent aftertouch is essential to any good regulation, and this spec is typically .030" to .045". Any less than .030" could result in clearance issues and a hard feeling follow through. Anything more than .045" will tend to feel sloppy. In either direction, the action will eventually not be functional, period. Using high quality felt punchings, and as few cardboard/paper punchings as possible, will help ensure an accurate and stable regulation.

Key height and the hammer line always made consistent. However, the actual note to note blow distance varies due to uneven string height.

Dip can be sacrificed to an extent, as slight variations of a few thousandths of an inch will go unnoticed by the pianist. In a modern piano, the acceptable dip range is 9.5mm to 10.5mm, but the optimal setting depends on hammer blow (45mm-48mm), let-off (1.5mm-2mm, 3mm for bass), and the action ratio (5.3:1-6.1:1).
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

#2118423 - 07/16/13 07:38 AM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1584
Loc: KZ
For Valentina level of key is trifle . He hovers over the ocean of music. She will play on any piano " wood -cardboard -China-piano" without original name and all in the audience will happy from her interpretation.
Glory to the Russian piano School!

#2118442 - 07/16/13 08:52 AM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 801
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
The Bosy was not in splendid condition. It was in original 1925 shape, old hammers, strings and unregulated. It was not easy to play with 75 to 120 grams of weight on each key. Never-the-less, Valentina still managed to perform those early clips using it. There was not the resources back then for anything better. Not even a tuner could be afforded, let alone regulation.
Chris Leslie
Piano technician

#2118475 - 07/16/13 10:29 AM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Her prom dress should have been regulated, however.

Marty in Minnesota

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

#2118780 - 07/16/13 09:33 PM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1584
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Her prom dress should have been regulated, however.


Even if Valentine wrapped in straitjacket , ocean's sounds will pour out from her Grand

#2119127 - 07/17/13 02:56 PM Re: Key Leveling Immortalized on Film [Re: Chris Storch]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 381
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
with max on this one. she seemed to float on those keys yet so powerful. wow....blob


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