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#2161056 - 10/03/13 04:22 AM Renner action on antique upright
Kiwisda Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/12
Posts: 11
Hi. Ever since selling my 1888 Lipp upright (made in Germany; company founded in 1831)) some years ago I've been in mourning. I've now latched onto an identical piano (it might be, perhaps, one year younger). These pianos are about 150cm high (some 60"), with a terrific bass and mellow treble. I have two questions, however, regarding upright actions, and I hope someone can help me with these.
(1) Going backwards chronologically, when would you say upright actions had really not "arrived"? That is, they were noticeable inferior to subsequent action designs. I have been able to find very little on this on the internet.
(2) Can Renner actions be made for an old piano like this? I know Renner make them for many current piano makers, but I wonder if you can simply get them for an 1888 model.
I know Lipps are not well known in the States. But they are certainly well known (and extremely highly regarded) by tuners in Britain and her former colonies: that's why I'm submitting this post in the technicians forum.
Thanks everyone.

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#2161073 - 10/03/13 06:03 AM Re: Renner action on antique upright [Re: Kiwisda]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 592
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Old Lipps are fairly common in my area. They are highly regarded and I put them in the same class as old Ronish, Feurich and Gors and Kallman. From about the time of your piano they seemed to be transitioning from having very long bass strings strung at a very diagonal angle, to those having more conventional stringing.
Nobody would make new actions for these pianos. If your is worn out then the best thing is to try to find a technician who will recondition the action as far as appropriate - and then, only if the rest of the piano is worthy. It may have some unconventional design. An old-piano-freindly tuner should be able to advise you.
I have come across a more modern Lipp from about the 1960s. Sadly, it was no patch on the older pianos.
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2161074 - 10/03/13 06:05 AM Re: Renner action on antique upright [Re: Kiwisda]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Hello I am not sure the actions for so tall pianos are yet produced. May be some are availeable from stock.

I believe the maximum size was 1.40 m

Now more standard actions can be modified with long wooden dowels that goes in a cylindrical hole in the keys, with a flat head screw to regulate the play.

It happens that old actions where made in first grade material, but all felts, leathers, cloths, centers, springs etc are pieces that do not age correctly and this is very expensive to change anything.

Modern actions are also intended for more massive hammers and they are a little more massive themselves.

design wise, some of them where yet "modern" in 1880, but many where not positioned correctly, use far than ideal dimensions and ratios. I believe vertical actions begin to be more consistent and viable around 1920.
_________________________
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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#2161485 - 10/04/13 12:05 AM Re: Renner action on antique upright [Re: Kiwisda]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Kiwisda
](1) Going backwards chronologically, when would you say upright actions had really not "arrived"? That is, they were noticeable inferior to subsequent action designs. I have been able to find very little on this on the internet.
It is not specifically a matter of date. There are piano actions from the late 1880s which lack nothing in terms of repetition, control and responsiveness, when functioning as designed.

Quote:
(2) Can Renner actions be made for an old piano like this? I know Renner make them for many current piano makers, but I wonder if you can simply get them for an 1888 model.
Almost any old piano can be fitted with a new modern action. Simply? Not necessarily - it can be quite involved and costly. Renner makes only two basic actions for uprights. The larger one is fitted into all pianos larger than about 120 cm. The only variable on the larger style is the height of the wippen heel. For tall pianos, abstracts are required, and they would have been in place originally.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2161501 - 10/04/13 12:36 AM Re: Renner action on antique upright [Re: Kiwisda]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
Some very old vertical actions are as advanced as anything you can get now.

If I were dealing with your piano, I would make the original action work as well as possible. Chances are I could get it to work as well as any replacement.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2161570 - 10/04/13 04:52 AM Re: Renner action on antique upright [Re: Kiwisda]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7423
Loc: France
Piano and action makers where aware of pressure on bearings, direction of forces, conjugate profiles etc, but this was investigated really and more optimal solutions find since 1900 and more.

That interesting to read that Grotrian Steinweg was yet looking for less constrain on the whippen bearings in 1905, something they still do today.

The tall version of Renner actions , with abstracts, where intended for a certrain maximum distance between keybed and strike point.

Chances are that a 150cm tall piano is off limits.
_________________________
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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