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Topic Options
#2122009 - 07/23/13 05:36 PM Iron wound base strings...
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
We have probably all run into them at one time or another.

I got 2 questions in regards to them.

1/ Has anyone had any luck with voicing or other technique on the hammers (doping) to minimize the tubby sounding strings? I discussed this with a colleague and were both under the impression that whats inherant in those crummy iron wound strings can't be dealt with other than changing them out.

2/ Is there anything that can be done on the imidiate octave or so above these strings to blend them into that tubby sound more evenly? I've had some luck with some deep needling myself but wondering if anyone else has approached this differently.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2122055 - 07/23/13 07:46 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I don't think that the solution to a pronounced transition from decent plain or wound strings to dead iron wound strings (let's face it) is to "dumb down" the neighboring hammers.

Sometimes twisting iron wound strings can help to some degree, but when they are finished (after 100 years of service) they need to be replaced. If all the brilliance has been voiced out of adjoining hammers and the iron strings are replaced later, you are faced with another, self-induced transition problem.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2122093 - 07/23/13 10:56 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Thanks Jurgen, I probably should have mentioned this piano is in fairly decent shape other than the original strings and old hammers. It will be used for a young child starting piano for a couple years. If the kid sticks with it, I will likely restring and hang a set of hammers on it later on since they want to keep the piano, if not, it will just sit as a nice piece of furniture (being a family heirloom). I had made them aware of the fact that they will likely not get back the cost of the work on a resale and wouldn't get much for the piano as is.

I think they are likely going to accept the tubby sound for the time being, kids don't play too many beginner peices down in the bass anyways. (I hate saying that, but there is some truth to it).
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2122161 - 07/24/13 03:42 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
plausible that iron wound bass react more to twisting than copper.

the more you work on them, the more you are at risk of breaking one, so...
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2122701 - 07/25/13 08:38 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 874
Loc: UK
I tried taking one out, cleaning it, oiling it etc. to no avail. I'm replacing all mine, though finding someone who's willing to do iron wound isn't easy - copper is not the same.

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#2122715 - 07/25/13 09:36 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
oiling bass strings : very bad idea
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2122728 - 07/25/13 10:27 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1055
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
C R Us and anyone else tempted to "clean" bass strings.

Oiled bass strings are instantly dead bass strings. Cleaning with polish is just as bad as oiling. Touching bass strings with your hands is a bad idea leading to early demise. Spraying furniture polish in the vicinity of bass strings will contaminate them. All these things should be common sense but apparently are not.

Apologies to Emmery. This is not directed at you, of course.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#2122770 - 07/25/13 11:58 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 688
Loc: England
On the subject of cleaning bass strings brings to mind an incident that happened several years ago with a client.
This particular client was clearly very fussy about the looks of things, and one could see that he took enormous pride in polishing every piece of brass in his house.
I advised him to have his knackered bass strings replaced, so took a rubbing and sent them off to my string maker along with the first and last singles and bichords as patterns. They arrived back, I restrung the bass after generally cleaning the soundboard etc .... they sounded great and the grand looked really good after being cleaned of all the dirt and dust.
One week later I got a phone call .." please come and sort out the bass strings you have just fitted, they are worse now than when the old ones were in place !"
I opened the grand lid and saw a set of gleeming bass strings that you could see had been polished with metal polish. They were totally ruined through his pride in cleaning everything. Nothing could be done to reverse the damage caused by windings being clogged up with dried metal polish ... he had no choice but to pay out again for me to repeat the entire bass replacement .
_________________________
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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#2122865 - 07/25/13 03:36 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1657
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Emmery
We have probably all run into them at one time or another.

I got 2 questions in regards to them.

1/ Has anyone had any luck with voicing or other technique on the hammers (doping) to minimize the tubby sounding strings? I discussed this with a colleague and were both under the impression that whats inherant in those crummy iron wound strings can't be dealt with other than changing them out.
, then tune back up.
I've had spectacular success with Unrighttuner's method: tune down an octave, bang the note, tune back up.

Kees

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#2122990 - 07/25/13 08:01 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: DoelKees]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1055
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Emmery
We have probably all run into them at one time or another.

I got 2 questions in regards to them.

1/ Has anyone had any luck with voicing or other technique on the hammers (doping) to minimize the tubby sounding strings? I discussed this with a colleague and were both under the impression that whats inherant in those crummy iron wound strings can't be dealt with other than changing them out.
, then tune back up.
I've had spectacular success with Unrighttuner's method: tune down an octave, bang the note, tune back up.

Kees


Never had much success with doing that to iron wound strings.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#2123123 - 07/26/13 02:24 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
Worst case I seen : the U3 came from Singapore by boat, and the movers poured grease on all strings so they would not rust during the travel.

They did not !


Edited by Olek (07/26/13 02:24 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2123313 - 07/26/13 12:48 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: Emmery]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Every time I open the forum list of threads, the title of this thread "Iron wound base strings.." jumps out at me, glaringly. Sorry, I can't take it anymore.

Rant alert. Readers are asked to use their discretion....
laugh

Seeing that this is a Piano Tuner/Technicians Forum, and we technicians are trying to be and come across as professionals, can we please agree on the spelling of the name of the low register in pianos?

Is there any way to correct the title of this thread to the much more appropriate "Bass strings"?

If we (technicians) don't use the correct terms for piano parts, how can we expect anyone else to?

...end of rant. Flame suit on for people making silly excuses about spelling of the most basic (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) technical terms. smokin
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2123330 - 07/26/13 01:27 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Supply]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5185
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Supply
Every time I open the forum list of threads, the title of this thread "Iron wound base strings.." jumps out at me, glaringly. Sorry, I can't take it anymore.

Rant alert. Readers are asked to use their discretion....
laugh

Seeing that this is a Piano Tuner/Technicians Forum, and we technicians are trying to be and come across as professionals, can we please agree on the spelling of the name of the low register in pianos?

Is there any way to correct the title of this thread to the much more appropriate "Bass strings"?

If we (technicians) don't use the correct terms for piano parts, how can we expect anyone else to?

...end of rant. Flame suit on for people making silly excuses about spelling of the most basic (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) technical terms. smokin

Thank you. That would be at least one giant step in the right direction but it doesn't take us all the way home.

While we're ranting, here's mine: why don't we just refer to them as what they really are; i.e., "wrapped" strings. Sometimes the wrapped strings are all found in the bass section of a piano; but not always. Sometimes wrapped strings are also found in the tenor section of a piano. Are these still "bass" strings?

The proper term is "wrapped strings."

ddf


Edited by Del (07/26/13 01:29 PM)
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Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2123335 - 07/26/13 01:33 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
I thought that "base" string was a kind of slang, for bass. Make you look smart and knowledgeable... Indeed it have no much meaning, could be phonetic. Is not it a word from UK?

Could call them "bonk" strings (now that would be phonetics)


Edited by Olek (07/26/13 06:21 PM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2123340 - 07/26/13 01:42 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Olek]
Jim Dunleavy Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Originally Posted By: Olek
I thought that "base" string was a kind of slang, for bass. Make you look smart and knowledgeable... Indeed it have no much meaning, could be phonetic. Is not it a word from UK?

Could call them "bonk" strings (now that would be phonetics)


Base: -

Noun
The lowest part or edge of something, esp. the part on which it rests or is supported.
Verb
Have as the foundation for (something); use as a point from which (something) can develop: "the film is based on a novel".
Adjective
Without moral principles; ignoble: "the electorate's baser instincts of greed and selfishness".
Synonyms
noun. basis - foundation - bottom - pedestal - ground
verb. found - ground - establish
adjective. mean - vile - low - ignoble - sordid - scurvy

smile


Edited by Jim Dunleavy (07/26/13 01:43 PM)
_________________________
Jim (amateur musician and composer..and piano tinkerer).

Restoration Project Videos

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#2123356 - 07/26/13 02:18 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1635
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Good grief. I didn't even notice. Some of this is typo. Some, just bad spelling, homonym* confusion, et al. More than this, Piano Tech-Speak varies from place to place. Whippen or wippen? Grand sustain dowel, "that little wood dowel" or "the dough roller"**? Someone needs to author an official dictionary of terms. Perhaps someone already has. If that is the case, then we all need to get a copy and read it.


*Computer spell check will often correct our bad spelling with one of these.
**As referred to at a well-known piano factory.


Edited by bkw58 (07/26/13 02:45 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Piano Technic

"Not to know what took place before you were born is to remain forever a child." - Cicero

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#2123374 - 07/26/13 03:00 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: Emmery]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3520
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I noticed it, but didn't want to irritate the tech guys.. wink

I just corrected the title on my post at least. grin

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#2123478 - 07/26/13 07:04 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: Del]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Del
... why don't we just refer to them as what they really are....
The proper term is "wrapped strings." ddf
First we'll learn to spell the word; once we have mastered that we can learn to use it correctly..... thumb
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2123483 - 07/26/13 07:19 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: ando]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: ando
I noticed it, but didn't want to irritate the tech guys.. wink


I'm in that camp ^^
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Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2123585 - 07/26/13 11:18 PM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Jim Dunleavy]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1055
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: Jim Dunleavy
Originally Posted By: Olek
I thought that "base" string was a kind of slang, for bass. Make you look smart and knowledgeable... Indeed it have no much meaning, could be phonetic. Is not it a word from UK?

Could call them "bonk" strings (now that would be phonetics)


Base: -

Noun
The lowest part or edge of something, esp. the part on which it rests or is supported.
Verb
Have as the foundation for (something); use as a point from which (something) can develop: "the film is based on a novel".
Adjective
Without moral principles; ignoble: "the electorate's baser instincts of greed and selfishness".
Synonyms
noun. basis - foundation - bottom - pedestal - ground
verb. found - ground - establish
adjective. mean - vile - low - ignoble - sordid - scurvy

smile


Or alternately shocked

Bass

adjective
1.
low in pitch; of the lowest pitch or range: a bass voice; a bass instrument.
2.
of or pertaining to the lowest part in harmonic music.
noun
3.
the bass part.
4.
a bass voice, singer, or instrument.
5.
double bass.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#2123619 - 07/27/13 12:45 AM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: ando]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: ando
I noticed it, but didn't want to irritate te te the tech guys.. wink

I just corrected the title on my post at least. grin


Irritate them wink they love on be irritated (some!)

So how do we call those long shiny rods in the bass?

Wrapped us ok for me, I thought "wound" was correct. (?)

Is not wrapped meaning securing tight and wound the result of winding? (and my aunt's garden larger than my sister bedroom)?


Edited by Olek (07/27/13 12:46 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2123681 - 07/27/13 07:06 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
pianolive Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 325
Loc: Europe
Wounded is correct.

http://vimeo.com/4281105

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#2123687 - 07/27/13 07:43 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Emmery]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 688
Loc: England
Something sounding very fishy with the way this thread is developing ..... bass are often plaiced under tenchion when people carp on about strings being wounded wink
_________________________
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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#2124044 - 07/28/13 12:36 AM Re: Iron wound base strings... [Re: Johnkie]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 565
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
Something sounding very fishy with the way this thread is developing ..... bass are often plaiced under tenchion when people carp on about strings being wounded wink

Yea, it's all just a Wounded Red Herring...
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2124969 - 07/29/13 06:58 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: Supply]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Supply
Every time I open the forum list of threads, the title of this thread "Iron wound base strings.." jumps out at me, glaringly. Sorry, I can't take it anymore.

Rant alert. Readers are asked to use their discretion....
laugh

Seeing that this is a Piano Tuner/Technicians Forum, and we technicians are trying to be and come across as professionals, can we please agree on the spelling of the name of the low register in pianos?

Is there any way to correct the title of this thread to the much more appropriate "Bass strings"?

If we (technicians) don't use the correct terms for piano parts, how can we expect anyone else to?

...end of rant. Flame suit on for people making silly excuses about spelling of the most basic (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) technical terms. smokin


I was going to use the word "bass"...honest Jurgen, but I didn't want people to be confused and think I was talking about a European freshwater perch species.

(I had tried to change it later on when I noticed it myself and the edit option does not exist on this forum after a period of time has expired. Not even sure if that option allows you to change the thread title) My first language was a phonetic one (not english)and I do on occasion lapse into phonetic types of misspelling, I apologize.



Edited by Emmery (07/29/13 07:12 PM)
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2125302 - 07/30/13 12:51 PM Re: Iron wound bass strings... [Re: Emmery]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Well,
Pretty sunny on the west coast; no rain now for thirty one days.

If all members have to complain about is the terminology used then perhaps it is long past time to find something actually important to worry about.

I believe everyone knows what is being referred to in the title.

Emmery, change the string set, because voicing the hammers will not help in smoothing out the tone. Further, the iron strings are only going to get worse in time not better. If there is no funding then the client has to live with the lousy tone.
_________________________
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www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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