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#2245206 - 03/12/14 07:45 AM let's talk about WNG damper trays
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1649
Loc: Tennessee
Am installing another action, and am curious if others that have used the WNG damper system run into some of these changes.

In order to have a vertical damper wire, I am finding that I have to bring the back action a considerable distance proximal, so much so that I am shortening the key ends. This is required in order that they don't hit the adjustment screws on the under levers. The original factory set-up, measured on re-installation, had the damper wires going through the guides at an extreme forward slant, with the back-action tucked way back in the cavity. Either intentional or trying to make up for weird action placement. Thoughts? It appears that the back action was originally indexed from the keys.

Anybody cutting out the rail for monkey clearance?

Determining the pivot height via the two factory jigs gives two different values, with the 'magic' line alignment jig telling me to lower the pivot so far that I wouldn't be able to use hold-down blocks...

When the back action has to move so far proximal to align the wire, the resulting moment arm for the pedal to lift the tray decreases, requiring the hole in the keybed be moved, requiring the back rail to be further relieved. I can make up the leverage elsewhere in the trap work, but from a stress and relative motion standpoint, a short moment arm creates problems.

I have reservations about permanently epoxying the installation in place, and it seems that a small dab of resin is all that is needed to keep the thing in place while the holes are drilled.

I like the precision built into these parts, and though the initial set-up is not the easiest way to get an action together, the promise of long term stability is worth it to me to clamber my way through the learning curve. The ones already in industrial use here are performing flawlessly,may they continue on for many more semesters.

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#2245261 - 03/12/14 11:04 AM Re: let's talk about WNG damper trays [Re: Ed Foote]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 4088
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I have not installed a W,N&G grand damper system, (and am a great fan of the shank/flange, capstan and back-check), and I never will. It is too large and clunky. Too much weight in the lift tray. I am very disappointed in the extra heavy design aesthetic that W,N&G has allowed to infuse so many elements of their new material technology.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2245622 - 03/12/14 09:41 PM Re: let's talk about WNG damper trays [Re: Ed Foote]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1956
Loc: Old Hangtown California
I helped install one on an SSL
Yes, we did cut out for the monkey. But now that WNG makes a belly rail mount sostenuto retrofit I would have gotten rid of the action mount assembly but that was not the case when I installed the back action.
The biggest problem was mounting the assembly on the bench so as to mimic the position of the belly rail and then
we also needed to fabricate L type brackets for mounting to the belly rail in the correct position.
Did not have any issues with damper wires and their angles and where the spoons intersected the key ends.
I liked the weight of the tray - did not have need of a return spring.
We used threaded rod to connect tray to trap lever and the existing hole.
The geometry was right on the money and the addition of spoons and capstans made regulation relatively fast/easy and very precise.
PTG Member

#2245712 - 03/13/14 01:14 AM Re: let's talk about WNG damper trays [Re: Ed Foote]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5491
Loc: Olympia, Washington
I agree with Ed on this one. I like the WNG wippens and shanks but I'll not be putting in the damper assembly. Even without leads the levers are way too heavy! I've discussed this with Bruce and he tells me they can reduce the weight of these parts some; I hope they do. Other than the weight issue the parts are great.

When compared with the original fixed tab sostenuto system even the replacement Renner/Tokiwa wood damper levers are too heavy. Consequently with the last several (Renner) sets I installed I removed all of the leads from all the flanges and then reversed their order on the rail. That is, the levers with three holes went to the treble and the solid levers (that are intended for the treble) went to the bass. Doing this brings their lift weight down to approximately the same lift weight as the originals. The new ones are still a little heavy but they are pretty close.

On larger pianos I install the springs through the bass just in case but they were adjusted to just barely press against the levers. I figure I can always reach in and strengthen them if necessary. Usually it is not. On smaller pianos I don't install the springs at all. If some additional weight is needed to ensure good damping I install one or two 1/4" lead weights (cut from a roll of lead wire) in the damper heads as far out toward the ends as I can safely place them. (Use a Forstner bit and drill from the bass side stopping just before the bit pops through.)

Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
(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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#2247208 - 03/15/14 09:37 PM Re: let's talk about WNG damper trays [Re: Ed Foote]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 4088
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Like Del, I do lighten the Tokiwa/Renner Steinway style back action under-levers by removing leads from the treble ones. I don't go a far as Del though. I do think springs on notes 1-40 are needed. I use cut off Steinway repetition springs because I get heavy and light sizes of wire that way.

I also make new end blocks so I can place the damper tray pivot point very close to inline with the under-lever flanges.

The things I don't like about the W,N&G back action is the spoons, capstans and heavy metal lift tray.

I wish they would mold the end of the under-lever where it contacts the key end with a round surface. Something on the order of a curve from a 2 foot radius circle but with a tighter radius at the edge to avoid wearing the end felt. End felts wear rather fast and a design that spread the contact force over more area would reduce the wear rate.

I don't like bending spoons and the capstans are heavy even if they are aluminum. Although when on the under-lever they can take the place of the counterweight. Capstans on the lift tray just add to the inertia of the pedal system and make it tend to produce more noise upon starting and stopping motion. Excess pedal inertia also inhibits rapid damper pedal "fluttering" that some pianist with skilled feet like to use for some musical statements.

Plus regulating the Steinway style back action is not that hard once you get trained. So I say "damper capstans-BEGONE!".

My advice to anyone designing piano components is to seek out lightness and rigidity and place these qualities in as elegantly engineered a form as possible. So much of the industry esthetic is over-built, heavy, bulky and inelegant.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com


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