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Topic Options
#2264880 - 04/21/14 09:12 AM Lubricious Whippen Cushions
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
Well - partly in anticipation of Pique's visit and because I know my son is bringing home a classical pianist from music school for a two week NYC visit, I thought I'd do some regulating work.

I raised my hammer line to specs, I tensioned my repitition springs. I checked all the letoff and jack positions etc.

Then I did something I didn't think would have much effect, I lubricated my whippen cushions (I use powdered mica) and WOW! What a change in the sound. My piano sounds more colorful and instead of hearing piano notes - it's like woodwinds, brass, celli... an orchestra is in there! Even my wife commented on the fact that the piano sounds more "rich".

Had no idea this could have effected the sound like it did. I guess the acceleration profile (over time within a keystroke) of the hammer is changed by this?

Recommend you have this done next time your action is out of the piano. A bit of a mess - I chose a soft surface to flip the entire action onto and it did need some cleanup after I was done with that powder. A vacuum with a hepa filter as I'm not sure that powdered mica is good for anybody's lungs.
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Regards,

Grotriman

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#2264894 - 04/21/14 09:58 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting...

I've used the powdered Teflon on the felt whippen cushions; I've never adjusted a repitition spring though... always wanted to learn how to do that. smile

Glad you got your action tuned up and ready for a high-class performance!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2264908 - 04/21/14 10:55 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 555
Loc: Upstate New York
Hello Grotriman.

Next time you do this, please strike and hold a few notes before and record them, say, seven seconds each. Then do the lubrication and record those notes again. Do a before and after line spectrum on each note and see how the power of each partial has been redistributed. If you do not have access to software that can do a line spectrum send the data to me, please.


For anybody else considering a lubricious lubrication of the whippen cushions, give this a try so we can quantify the effect.

smile
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#2264927 - 04/21/14 11:32 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Grotriman

I raised my hammer line to specs, I tensioned my repitition springs. I checked all the letoff and jack positions etc.

Then I did something I didn't think would have much effect, I lubricated my whippen cushions (I use powdered mica) and WOW! What a change in the sound.


Wait a minute!

There are a lot of changes you have listed, and lubricating the cushions was only one of them. Since I have never encountered a change like this, I have to ask, why do you think the powdered cushions were responsible for the change in sound and not the other alterations you made?


Edited by Ed Foote (04/21/14 11:33 AM)

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#2264932 - 04/21/14 11:47 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1819
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Use "lubricated" instead.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2264935 - 04/21/14 11:59 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
I'm not sure if "lubricious" sounds delicious or salacious.

blush
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Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2265000 - 04/21/14 04:03 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
@Ed - I put everything back together to play for a day before I lubed the cushions. I pulled everything out again because I wasn't satisfied I had the hammer line right for measurement, then thought - "oh let me pull the whole rail and libricate the cushions" since I did the knuckles when I checked the travel on the hammers.

@Dave - I don't think it has to do with the decay, but more the attack, more different colors related to how the key is "stroked" now. So I'm fairly sure you'd have to play a piece and then compare pieces (always hard as there are many variables). And this is the first time in 11 years I've lubricated them, I can't imagine doing this again until 10 years from now...

@Clssclib - that doesn't describe their current state it says what I did. smile

Jerry


Edited by Grotriman (04/21/14 04:03 PM)
_________________________
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Grotriman

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#2265064 - 04/21/14 07:33 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 555
Loc: Upstate New York
"I don't think it has to do with the decay, but more the attack, more different colors related to how the key is "stroked" now. So I'm fairly sure you'd have to play a piece and then compare pieces."

To anyone thinking of doing this, humor me and please do it anyway. smile
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#2265122 - 04/21/14 10:27 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1534
Loc: New York
Jerry Please say hello to Pique and your son for me..

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#2265568 - 04/22/14 09:42 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Grotriman
... Then I did something I didn't think would have much effect, I lubricated my whippen cushions (I use powdered mica) and WOW! What a change in the sound. My piano sounds more colorful and instead of hearing piano notes - it's like woodwinds, brass, celli... an orchestra is in there! Even my wife commented on the fact that the piano sounds more "rich".

Had no idea this could have effected the sound like it did. I guess the acceleration profile (over time within a keystroke) of the hammer is changed by this?

If you are noticing any change at all from lubricating the wippen cushions -- capstan block felt -- then you have a serious key-to-wippen misalignment problem. If the capstan is contacting the wippen capstan block in the proper place there is virtually no sliding motion between the two. Typically less than 0.025 mm (approximately 0.001"). Slightly more on a very short piano, even less on a very large piano.

There is something that resembles sliding friction as the capstan block felt compresses and the wool fibers distort but, since this is primarily compressive it is unlikely that lubricating them will alter the action function by any discernable amount.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(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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#2265704 - 04/23/14 05:04 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 861
Loc: Darlington, UK
This thread title makes for a fabulous band name!
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If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2265705 - 04/23/14 05:12 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: LarryShone
This thread title makes for a fabulous band name!

__________ __________
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2265706 - 04/23/14 05:13 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN

Or, the name of an announcer on NPR.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2269275 - 04/30/14 08:32 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
Well my piano teacher came to my place (for a change) for my lesson today. I told him nothing. He played the piano and said "there is more depth to the tone, what did you do to the piano?"

@Del - the feeling of the entire piano was different, so despite the very small amount of sliding it appears to have been important. I'm about to replace the mica with teflon (as the mica particle size is large) so when I pull the action out I'll measure the amount of sliding.
_________________________
Regards,

Grotriman

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#2269585 - 05/01/14 11:33 AM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 555
Loc: Upstate New York
Broken record: gather some data before and after. smile
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#2269600 - 05/01/14 12:17 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: PaintedPostDave]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
Broken record: gather some data before and after. smile

...and with only one carefully controlled change at a time. :>)

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(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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#2269892 - 05/01/14 10:22 PM Re: Lubricious Whippen Cushions [Re: Grotriman]
otherside Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 145
Originally Posted By: Grotriman
as the mica particle size is large

Perhaps you made the whippen cushions more coarse, I believe you therefore smile

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