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#2316434 - 08/17/14 01:12 AM Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 594
Loc: CO, USA
Greetings -

I have two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action that I was hoping someone could comment on. This deals with my NY S&S.

1) Mr Akins web site says on the topic of reinstalling the action "Once the action is in, see if any of the dampers are not working freely. If not, remove the action about four inches, put junk under the dampers to hold them up about a quarter of an inch, and push the action back in"

http://www.balaams-ass.com/piano/chap-5.htm

My question would be, in situations where this procedure works, are there any more permanent, simple and elegant solutions to deal with what is presumably unoptimized engagement of sostenuto lips?

2) The Steinway voicing manual,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/209556122/Steinway-Voicing-Manual
p 22 says that in the Hamburg Voicing Techniques section:

"the keyblock plate must be adjusted in the treble keyblock, which fixes the position of the keyframe on the keybed and thus the strikepoint of the hammers."

Is this true for the NY S&S grand too?
I seem to recall my tech leaving this right cheek block in place for the cycles of reinserting the action after successive hammer voicings. Do yo do this?

Many thanks-


Edited by phacke (08/17/14 01:17 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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#2316439 - 08/17/14 02:04 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
1. I have posted my method of adjusting dampers here.

2. In general that is true. Steinway actions are only held in position by the cheek blocks, so they have to go in for voicing. You also need to adjust the plate for the best strike position for the top notes. On one I worked on, that also meant adjusting the fallboard hinges so the keys would not hit the fallboard. (That piano was in astonishingly bad condition, and had been since it was new. It is pretty nice, now.)
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2316468 - 08/17/14 06:01 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Hello, there is a pencil line on the key bed near the block to locate the action in its original dimensions. That one can be altered in time with hammer wear.

The dampers are not suppose to be annoyed by action placement indeed.

If any change in strike line are necessary they are conducted with hammer gluing.
The treble (not high treble) section typically make the center line of a "Z" in some German models. So strike ratio can be changing around the last strut if the tone is better that way (about 2mm)

regars

Ps I did not analyze that closely but must be a mean to keep the hammers impacting on similarly stiff string portion, when that is not corrected with wire gauge.

I have to look at it more closely to get more the theory behind the tip.
Dampers need to attain the convergence line.


Edited by Olek (08/17/14 06:04 AM)
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#2316472 - 08/17/14 06:26 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 388
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
The dampers should not be in the way of installing the action. Are you questioning the technical savvy of your tech?


Edited by Jon Page (08/17/14 08:27 AM)
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2316482 - 08/17/14 07:47 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 481
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Put junk under your dampers? What sort of junk? I wish I knew more about this technique.
_________________________
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

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#2316507 - 08/17/14 09:01 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
A454.7 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1577
Loc: Manywheres
Statement no2 is not true for NY: as you've identified, the action is located via the cheek blocks. They have to be installed to do almost anything with the piano.

Statement no1, re:junk = bizarre! If the sostenuto rail is interfering with the dampers, the solution is to adjust THAT problem first--since that is what is in the way of what is trying to be accomplished. It goes in-and-out and you brutally beat on it to make it go up-and-down.
_________________________
Masters degree in piano technology, +factory(s) training, etc., blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...[uncensored break-out in song]..."it don't mean a thing, if you aint got that swing."
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Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

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#2316544 - 08/17/14 11:49 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: A454.7]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2420
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The centerline of note 88 should be located somewhere between 2 and 3mm of the V-bar. If the V-bar is really round, no real measurement can be made. But no piano should have a really round V-bar-and far too many do! It is a V-bar, make it so! The final position is set by ear.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2316548 - 08/17/14 12:04 PM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The centerline of note 88 should be located somewhere between 2 and 3mm of the V-bar. If the V-bar is really round, no real measurement can be made. But no piano should have a really round V-bar-and far too many do! It is a V-bar, make it so! The final position is set by ear.


I have no idea what you mean by that first sentence.

The rest of the post is pretty vague, too.
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Semipro Tech

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#2316649 - 08/17/14 06:38 PM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2420
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Duh me! I meant to say centerline of HAMMER 88.
Thanks BDB
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2316663 - 08/17/14 06:57 PM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2200
Loc: Maine
Now it all makes sense and corresponds roughly to how I do it. Everything except putting "junk" under the dampers, that is. Actually, now that I think of it, there is some extra stuff in the shop that I need to get rid of. Hmmmmm. Is anyone looking?
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2316664 - 08/17/14 06:58 PM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Mexico City
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Duh me! I meant to say centerline of HAMMER 88.
Thanks BDB


That's what I understood!

We are talking about positioning of the action -> strike point.



Edited by Gadzar (08/17/14 06:59 PM)
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Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#2316765 - 08/18/14 12:00 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 594
Loc: CO, USA
Thanks very much It's all good information.

By "junk" I guess the writer meant any old item that would physically hold the dampers up 1/4" so that the sostenuto lips could be placed correctly with respect to the sostenuto rod assembly during action insertion, if they don't place correctly by themselves. Never tried it.

As for my particular situation: if cheek blocks are out, a few dampers may not come down for some notes after they are played. Cheek blocks in, everything is OK, which is consistent with what most are saying above: cheek blocks are needed for correct positioning of the action.

Jon Page wrote > Are you questioning the technical savvy of your tech?

Not really. He made a point of telling me he puts one cheek block in during voicing (the treble one, I vaguely recall), It seemed to work.

My motivation is to understand what is going on. A primary question has been answered, thank you, and that is the cheek blocks are critical in positioning the action correctly. The one vs two cheek blocks during voicing is still something I am wondering about though.

Best wishes-
_________________________
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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#2316768 - 08/18/14 12:07 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
Both blocks should be in. Other makes of piano may have stops in back of the action that position it properly, but not Steinways, nor several other makes.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2316776 - 08/18/14 12:29 AM Re: Two questions on correct positioning of grand piano action [Re: phacke]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 594
Loc: CO, USA
Many thanks, BDB.

Best regards-
_________________________
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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