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Topic Options
#2220847 - 01/26/14 01:49 AM How to use Papp's Treble Mute?
PeterGriffin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 28
What is the proper way to use a Papp's treble mute?

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#2220861 - 01/26/14 02:39 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 565
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I use them routinely for upright pianos only, and for notes above the tenor break.
They can be inserted between adjacent string pairs of a trichord to allow only the left or right string to sound.
They can be inserted with each prong between the trichord pairs to allow only the middle string to sound.
They can be inserted between adjacent trichords to allow two strings to sound when tuning one string against another.
They can be inserted between hammer shanks, between those a couple of notes away, and just above the dampers.
They can be inserted over the hammers and above the dampers, but the stick will need to be positioned the side away from the hammer being used to prevent it from interfering with the hammer.
They can be used for bass wrapped strings but tend to bounce off easily. Felt wedges are better.
They are very useful for overdampers (birdcage pianos) and can be inserted either over the damper rail, or between the damper wires and shanks.
Being so versatile, it is possible to tune an entire piano with one single Papp's mute.
Make sure that you get the nylon type. There are more brittle plastic ones around that break easily.
I was given a Papp's mute in 1970 from W.H.Palings and I still carry that very one to this day. So they last a long time with care.


Edited by Chris Leslie (01/26/14 02:42 AM)
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2220958 - 01/26/14 09:47 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 273
Loc: Scotland
Just to add to Chris's comprehensive list: For bichords you can turn them round and use the "wrong end", sometimes helpful above the damper rail in birdcage pianos.

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#2221335 - 01/27/14 09:12 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
showard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Hortonville, Wisconsin
We offer a YouTube video on mutes which you may find helpful. It does show the Papp's mute as part of the demo: Piano Tuning Mutes
_________________________
Steve Howard
Piano Technician
Owner of Howard Piano Industries
www.howardpianoindustries.com

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#2227136 - 02/06/14 07:05 PM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1072
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I use them on uprights with a double string, open unison technique.

I do not try to fit them between two strings of a single trichord; that is a small target and slows me down. I insert them between two notes when tuning the treble on an upright and tune the double string unison first, using unison cracking or shiming as it is sometimes called.

(I also use the same technique with rubber wedges with handles for the other trichords. Works great on grands because the handled rubber mutes stay up.)

This is a killer technique on birdcage pianos. No fishing around for the right spot. The space between two trichords is much bigger than that which is between two strings of the same note.

And it has the added benefit that you do not need mutes to tune the bichords. Sweet!
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2227165 - 02/06/14 08:02 PM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
Johnkie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 688
Loc: England
I use nothing but a papps wedge for all uprights either OS or OD (or as you know them ... birdcage).
I would guess that most tuners here in the UK do exactly the same, mainly because we deal with OD pianos so often.

It does take time to gain the experience of how to use them, but once mastered it becomes very quick and far easier to mute especially in the high treble.
It's best to first practice on an Over Strung, whereby you insert at an angle to the string to be tuned. Inserting 4 or 5 semitones above or below. New papps wedges are too big at first to be able to insert between unisons, so we simply file the front down so that the start of the wedge has a nice thin attack angle that penetrates easily.

Insert the wedge between two of the unison strings so that only one sounds, after tuning that first string, remove the wedge and insert it between one unison of the note you are dealing with and its neighbouring string and you are able to tune the second unison of the note to the first that has been tuned. It only remains to remove the wedge completely in order to tune the remaining unison to the two already tuned.

This method does of course require tuning unisons as you go rather than the practice of using a muting strip and leaving unisons until the end.

Once mastered on OS instruments it becomes quite easy to judge where to place on over damped pianos underneath the hammers in between the damper wires by sort of using the tip much like a plectrum ... counting the sounds of the unisons whilst running the papps wedge across the note .... plink plink and insert = first unison to tune .... plink plink plink and insert in the wide gap between two notes = tune the second unison, and finally remove to tune the third.
_________________________
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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#2227243 - 02/06/14 11:42 PM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Here's a tip that worked for me:

I roughened the surfaced of the Papps mute. It seemed to help keep it from slipping out from the strings during test blows.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2227316 - 02/07/14 04:49 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 273
Loc: Scotland
Johnkie, I do exactly the same as you.

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#2227709 - 02/07/14 11:20 PM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: Chris Leslie]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1298
Loc: Michigan
Very informative posts.

Just as a contrarian perspective. . .

They're a real head-scratcher to me. I wasn't able to get a Papp's mute to do anything that my wedge mutes wouldn't do.

I do get the overdamper piano usage, but I have a really long-handled rubber mte (from Pianotek) and seem to manage OK -- sometimes in combination with inserting the strip mute under the keybed.

Maybe I'll give one a try again -- but it seems like something extra to carry around that doesn't do anything better than wedge mutes.
_________________________
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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#2227789 - 02/08/14 05:44 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: kpembrook]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Very informative posts.

Just as a contrarian perspective. . .

They're a real head-scratcher to me. I wasn't able to get a Papp's mute to do anything that my wedge mutes wouldn't do.

I do get the overdamper piano usage, but I have a really long-handled rubber mte (from Pianotek) and seem to manage OK -- sometimes in combination with inserting the strip mute under the keybed.

Maybe I'll give one a try again -- but it seems like something extra to carry around that doesn't do anything better than wedge mutes.


This was the finding forty years ago when I used to but them by the half dozen and give them to my employees, colleagues and nominal 'competitors'.

They were using short rubber wedges that seemed to be always falling into the depths of the piano which seemed rather awkward to me, who had known no other way than the paps wedge.

They also found no use for them.

I found the same reluctance with the automatic electric kettle. Something even the poorest household has in the UK.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2227794 - 02/08/14 06:11 AM Re: How to use Papp's Treble Mute? [Re: PeterGriffin]
Johnkie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 688
Loc: England
Yes Keith, they can be a little fiddly and difficult to master, but when you get the hang of using a papps wedge, it takes away any danger of harming dampers when inserting a muting strip and becomes no more time consuming in comparison to using a muting strip in the overall tuning time.

In any case it would be pretty useless unless the tuning method involved tuning unisons as you go, rather than what appears to be the norm here, where the scale and octaves are laid first and unisons tuned after.

Being a totally aural tuner I need only carry a papps wedge for uprights, a rubber wedge for grands, a C 523.3 fork and of course a good tuning lever. I do however have 3 tool cases at hand in the boot of the car, one of which contains the most needed day to day regulation and repair tools, but where only tuning is required those four basic tools along with perhaps a couple of screwdrivers generally suffices .... the rest remain in the car until identified as needed.
_________________________
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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