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#2305663 - 07/22/14 10:38 PM What brand of solid string to use?
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Soon to be starting a new project!.....a 1928 7ft Steinway Duo-Art AR-A3 scale (a 6ft4 A in reality)....what brand of solid strings would you recommend for this piano? I will be going with Ari Isaac's Bass strings and hammers. Would it be advantageous to use the same brand of string that is used as the core in the bass strings? Recordings of course will eventually follow. Thanks!

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#2305667 - 07/22/14 10:42 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2349
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
What is the qualities you desire in the piano at completion?
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2305693 - 07/23/14 12:47 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Ed,

Well, I am pretty spoiled by the sound of my M&H BB....of course it wont sound like that and I am not expecting it to. ...what I would love is to have a full, rounded sweet singing tone, with a thunderous bass.

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#2305700 - 07/23/14 01:08 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21826
Loc: Oakland
My own personal feeling is that technique is more important than materials. Those of us who work the trenches know how to make a piano sound good without changing strings or hammers. It may be that strings and hammers eventually need to be replaced, but the techniques that one learns working on pianos with the stuff that they came with makes more of a difference than the source of the parts.

I discussed an article about someone who claimed to have discovered the secret of Stradivarius with friend of mine who makes violins. The article said it was in the way the wood was treated or the finish or something like that—there are hundreds of variations on the theme. My friend, who has a way of cutting to the chase, told me, "They want to come up with any explanation except saying that the guy knew what he was doing!"
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#2305727 - 07/23/14 01:51 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
phacke Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 578
Loc: CO, USA
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Soon to be starting a new project!.....a 1928 7ft Steinway Duo-Art AR-A3 scale (a 6ft4 A in reality)....what brand of solid strings would you recommend for this piano? I will be going with Ari Isaac's Bass strings and hammers. Would it be advantageous to use the same brand of string that is used as the core in the bass strings? Recordings of course will eventually follow. Thanks!



For what it is worth Ari Isaac writes:
"I would recommend, for the plain wire sections, Mapes International Gold
wire. This is not their regular wire, you would ask for International Gold.
It has a higher tensile strength and a more singing tone. I would ask for
it unstraightened."

I personally don't know, but if you are going with what he does, then that is his recommendation (Oct. 2012).

Best wishes-


Edited by phacke (07/23/14 01:52 AM)
_________________________
phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014) duet with violin
F. Chopin, Prelude 28 (15)

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#2305758 - 07/23/14 05:32 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Soon to be starting a new project!.....a 1928 7ft Steinway Duo-Art AR-A3 scale (a 6ft4 A in reality)....what brand of solid strings would you recommend for this piano? I will be going with Ari Isaac's Bass strings and hammers. Would it be advantageous to use the same brand of string that is used as the core in the bass strings? Recordings of course will eventually follow. Thanks!



Hello it all first depends on tension of the scale.

It seem also to be considered that lowering tension it can help an old soundboard to get more "life" and I agree with that. It is easy to have the tone of a too constrained panel, and you cannot lower down bearing excessively.
Having a little less "power" is soon accepted, assuming the tone is colorful enough and the dynamic plague is fine.

then depending of the tension the wire choice will follow.
Low tension : lower resistance wire : higher stress factor : better tone (one parameter, there are others but that one is interesting)

mapes specifications I don't know they do not seem to provide easily the breaking strain depending on types. I just believe they have a higher carbon content than Roslau , the carbon is responsible for the "noise" in the wire. As the carbon does not disperse evenly in the steel, too much is bad.
Then if you want thunderous to ne in basses that is probably the way to go, but keeping the stress factor as high as possible in first basses, and not excessive in the last Bichords.

You will have a singing tone only if the soundboard in good condition, crown, bridge tilt, boom/tap tests indispensables, as sustain tests with plucking, new sting if possible. If soundboard is so so lower the stress of the panel.
Regards

PS Others may say more. You probably have a moderate tension on the scale.
I agree with what say BDB , but mostly for the basses, where the material is important but the hand and thinking of the bass maker is more.

Tension then tension vs length come first in the list of priorities, iH also for tone quality and color.3 the stress factor is a mean to optimize the mechanical behavior of the wire. It lower iH also, but not in a very large proportion I think.

Ih may not raise too much nor too little (you can have a magnificent tone without much color nor dynamics) an that will depend on the type of progression of the lengths from mediums to treble.
Steinway's have a relatively short scale hence a good iH progression, moderate to low tension - but I do not have specifics on the model you have.




Edited by Olek (07/23/14 07:19 AM)
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#2305863 - 07/23/14 10:36 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2349
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
BDB is in general correct that workmanship and organization will trump materials-however science properly applied is the only way to improve on the past state of the art.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2305878 - 07/23/14 10:58 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: Michigan
You might be interested in using the Paulelo wire that has been mentioned in other threads. I haven't used it yet, but may be giving it a try at some point in the near future.

Another item that I have used is frozen wire. This involves taking whatever conventional wire you wish and having it brought down to the temperature of liquid nitrogen. The times I have used it have been mainly for stability. (Concert artists taking their pianos on the road a 3-4 weeks after restringing). The sound was good but I attribute the main tonal improvement in those instances to Cadenza hammers.

Feel free to talk with me further if you wish.
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2305974 - 07/23/14 01:48 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 672
Loc: Toronto

Paullelo wire could be useful for the lowest octave of the tenor.
Mapes International Gold will cover the rest.

Steve
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Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

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#2306032 - 07/23/14 03:55 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 829
Loc: Seattle
While intelligent wire choices and hammers are certainly key, I would also be curious of the state of the soundboard and bridges. This is from 1928 after all and not likely to be perfect.
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AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2306099 - 07/23/14 06:24 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Steve Jackson]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 136
Loc: New Hampshire
Go big or go home - all Paulello wire bass and tenor up to 88. smile
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fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner

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#2306139 - 07/23/14 07:35 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: WilliamTruitt]
phacke Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 578
Loc: CO, USA
Originally Posted By: WilliamTruitt
Go big or go home - all Paulello wire bass and tenor up to 88. smile


Then, you have to choose which Paulello wire. Choices choices choices
http://www.stephenpaulello.com/en/les-5-types-daciers

Thanks-
_________________________
phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014) duet with violin
F. Chopin, Prelude 28 (15)

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#2306152 - 07/23/14 07:53 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: WilliamTruitt]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
William, I like your style wink

Thanks for everyone's input!

SMHaley, def correct...we are wating for the piano to arrive to acertain the condition, then go from there. I was just curious as to what techs would suggest for a Steinway of this vintage with the A3 scale.

It has had a fair amount of work done on it already....from the pics, it looks like the plate was removed and most likely painted, the soundboard was refinished/repaired, newish strings/dampers and perhaps the next size pins, keys look level, don't know if they are ivory, ...looks like they did a nice job with the stringing/dampers...not sure if the hammers were also changed.....but we really need the piano in hand to make the right decisions etc. Have no idea if the soundboard is alive. The reason I bought it without inspecting it.. it's very rare to find an AR Duo-Art of this size, the A3 scaling is a plus....and the price was very reasonable. Will most likely sell my Weber Duo Art to help offset some of the rebuilding costs. It is known that rebuilders do not like ex-Steinway players, due to the longer keys etc....lucky for me...:) It was going to be cut and made into a 'normal' A, which would have been a shame. My plan is to restore the Duo-Art system and do what needs to be done to the piano......thinking about refinishing as well. I believe it's African Ribbon Mahogany. These players also have some extra bracing in the belly for the Duo-Art system, which is prob a + factor.



































Edited by Grandpianoman (07/23/14 09:34 PM)

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#2306157 - 07/23/14 08:11 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: phacke]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 136
Loc: New Hampshire
Indeed you do. Been working on rescaling a piano this evening using the Paulello wire types.

There are 5 but we will typically use most M and O, with some 1 in the low tenor. I have use XM for the top 8 notes on a Bechstein C.

That's where the magic lies, in those choices. And they do make a difference, most especially in the problem areas of the scale.

Will
_________________________
fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner

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#2306223 - 07/23/14 11:13 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 829
Loc: Seattle
Certainly appears to have had some work over the years. Certainly encouraging. I wonder if the scale has changed in the restringing.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2306256 - 07/24/14 01:15 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2349
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The SB looks to be in very poor condition.

I am completing a 6'4" A at the moment. I converted notes 23 to 26 to type O core, tri-chord stainless wrapped. notes 27 & 28 are pure sound stainless plain. Notes 29 thru 32 are type O plain. notes 33 to 88 are Mapes Gold. In the bass notes 1 & 2 are type O core double wrapped copper. Notes 3 thru 8 are Mapes core and single copper wrap. Note 9 is type O core stainless wrapped bi-chord. Notes 10 to 22 are Mapes core, stainless wrapped.

It is powerful, clear, even and warm with very few barks and hoots. This scaling keeps the dark edge to the tone but applies it more evenly across the compass.
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2306530 - 07/24/14 03:16 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Ed, thanks for your input. Is there a possiblity you could record your 6ft 4 piano, would love to hear what your re-scaling sounds like. I take it it's a Steinway A.....what year?

SMHaley, yes it does look encouraging. Will know better what shape the piano is in once it arrives....I hope the sb is not dead!

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#2306532 - 07/24/14 03:26 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 829
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman

SMHaley, yes it does look encouraging. Will know better what shape the piano is in once it arrives....I hope the sb is not dead!


Like Ed says the board seems to have had a great deal of attention, and by the look of it perhaps not the best kind. Only one way to tell. I don't think I could ever pick up an instrument without having had my hands on it and in it first... too much potential risk.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2306549 - 07/24/14 03:37 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: Tennessee
Greeting,s
I didn't' think it would be feasible to cut one of these pianos down to regular size. Exactly how would one go about doing that?.
regards,

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#2306556 - 07/24/14 03:45 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: SMHaley]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Yes, the sb had def been repaired....my 1925 M&H BB sb was in the same shape visually, repaired cracks like this one, and it turned out to have a wonderful sound, so will see.

I agree, I would have liked to inspect it beforehand, but it was not possible. It is a very rare ex-player in that size with the A3 scale.....most of the ex-Steinway player pianos that have survived are either the "XR" shortest, and the "OR" next size up. This AR is the largest they made.

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#2306560 - 07/24/14 03:49 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Ed Foote]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Ed,

Was typing when you posted....I don't how they do it, but was told it would have been sent to Poland I believe....the front of the case, where the Duo-Art mechanism resided, would have been removed, and the case rebuilt to look like a normal A. The caveat here is that the serial # would still show it was an ex-player. Perhaps one of the rebuilders here can elaborate exactly how it's done.

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#2306565 - 07/24/14 03:59 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: kpembrook]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Keith,

Thanks for your post! Very interesting about the freezing. I have heard of this 'cryo' freezing before, vacuum tubes, and speaker wire for loudspeakers, and the consensus is that it does help. How would I have my player piano re-bullder down in Anaheim Hills get the strings cryoed? Do you think using Ari's bass strings and the rest Pauello, would be ok soundwise? I think Ari uses Mapes International Gold for his core wire, hence my concern about evenness between the wound to solid if I used Pauello wire.

Have already spoken to Ari about this piano...my plan is to use his bass strings and Cadenza hammers. He told me that his bass strings are even better now than what is on my M&H BB!


Edited by Grandpianoman (07/24/14 04:28 PM)

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#2306741 - 07/24/14 10:55 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Ed Foote]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2349
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Ed,
I think the case in the pictures is all original.

I have thought about how to cut a ex-player down to a normal case. It would take making a new key-bed. the lid would be a problem because the split is too close to the front. This would mean a new short lid as well. Then there is the fall board because of the short head length of the keys.

So even if you got the piano for free-I don't think you could make money on it. A 6'4' A or B and the economics might work.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2306742 - 07/24/14 10:58 PM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2349
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Grandpianoman,
I still haven't done any recordings. I did get some equipment set up-but I won't start making recordings until I get my website done. I don't know when that will be as I keep procrastinating.


You would be more than welcome to come hear the piano since Portland is not too far away from Mukilteo.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2306802 - 07/25/14 02:58 AM Re: What brand of solid string to use? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2405
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Ed, thanks for your offer. I am pretty busy right now with my work, but will def take you up on it in the near future. This Steinway project is at least 2-3 months from starting, so no rush.

Yes, that is the original case.

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