Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2323888 - 09/04/14 12:50 AM Restringing
PhilipInChina Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 910
Loc: China
I realise that circumstances alter cases. With moderate use and reasonable care how long should new strings and a new pin block last before needing replacement?
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

Top
(ad PTG 568) Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
#2323968 - 09/04/14 08:24 AM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1390
Loc: Manywheres
Quality design and construction should result in a LONG lifespan for a pinblock (i.e., many restringing)--this assumes also that the tuner is not a pin-bender, which is bad for the block.

IMHO, modern piano wire starts to show signs of noticeable ageing (i.e., it has an effect on in the tuning = falseness) around 7-10 years, with the bass strings showing signs for improvement as early as 5 years. How long can it be realistically put off before it really needs to be done? Depends, but probably around the c.15-20 year mark.
_________________________
Klavierbaukünstler des Erwachens
...expecter of the best, 'gunslinger' to the rest!
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2323969 - 09/04/14 08:27 AM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Ed A. Hall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 261
I tune a lot of pianos over 100 years old with original pinblocks and strings. Some are much better than others. It depends a lot on the atmosphere and the care. A piano sitting in an ocean view home is going to need restringing at a much earlier age than normal. It also depends on the quality of the pinblock and work done to drill it for consistent torque. Some technicians are also making their own hybrid pinblocks that not only has a better feel but will probably outlast what's commercially sold.

Top
#2323978 - 09/04/14 09:14 AM Re: Restringing [Re: A443]
adamp88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 143
Loc: Omaha, NE
Originally Posted By: A443
Depends, but probably around the c.15-20 year mark.


I'll second this. In a well designed and constructed piano, you should expect the pinblock to last well beyond this (imo), but, as A443 said, strings tend to show signs of age well before the block.
_________________________
Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE

Top
#2323988 - 09/04/14 09:59 AM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
PhilipInChina Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 910
Loc: China
So, I am male, 58 years old and my playing is distributed amongst 3 pianos. I am also a heavy smoker.

So with my life expectancy a restringing should last me the rest of my natural life??
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

Top
#2323993 - 09/04/14 10:14 AM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2117
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Since I am such an old codger now that I have 35 year old rebuilds that I still service-not a one needs new strings or pin-block. (Of course the west coast of the US is one of the most stable temperate climates available.) I also service a few exceptionally well preserved 70 or so year old pianos that still have great sounding original wire. After 100 years it is almost impossible to find pianos with still great sounding wire but it is not unheard of.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2324207 - 09/04/14 11:07 PM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1969
Loc: Philadelphia area
Phillip, I have a few customers who have used string covers for over twenty years. The strings still look new, still tune easily, and still sound good to my ear.

I'm sure environment is one factor and I would think hard heavy playing would greatly reduce string quality after a few years.


Enjoy

Top
#2324213 - 09/04/14 11:26 PM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7673
Loc: France
wire quality and purity of the steel do probably make a huge difference.
Wire quality raised more and more up to 1920 +- where the wire where made so much resistive that piano builders in USA asked the makers to lower the carbon content to have them more pure sounding.

I dont know if the same process happened in Europe but this is very possible, Poehlmann showe wire more an more resistant at each new international exposition where they always ha fist price)

I have noticed that some instruments build in East Germany do hae yet in 80's plain wire that is much more resistive to corrosion than the wire of today.

I believe that a good wire can be kept in its elastic condition for way more time than we think, as of today I think wire replacement (plain wire at last) can be envisaged after 25 years, while being really mandatory on the best pianos others can wait 30 35 years but the sound will be less nice.

Only on most exigent pianos the wire is really changed at 20 years or before.

changing only the treble sections is a one day job. (install strings that hold pitch +- after a few months and enough tunings so be ready to deal with that, eventually the tuner can make partial tuning just for those strings)

Usual in schools when a maintenance schedule is respected

Some wire are stable sooner (Paulello wire for instance)

When making the relation between the advantage of new strings and the fact that the quality used originally could have be better, there is a decision that is not always easy to do.

verticals from the 80's for instance may have a slightly harder tone but some precision and power that will not show on always with new strings.

I think the wire makers have the choice when buying their steel to the amount of "old iron" contained in their barrels ("salmon" is the name)
Because I cannot imagine metallurgy being less goo today than before, the material's choice is larger, due to recycling.

I doubt gun makers use much recycled steel for their precision parts, for instance, but piano wire is made by a large industrial company specialize in steel springs for the industry. we have no much interest to them, at may be max 5% of the production for musical wire.

Hence the interest of finding as much technical information as available and try different brands whenever possible.



Edited by Olek (09/04/14 11:43 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2324215 - 09/04/14 11:31 PM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7673
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: PhilipInChina
So, I am male, 58 years old and my playing is distributed amongst 3 pianos. I am also a heavy smoker.

So with my life expectancy a restringing should last me the rest of my natural life??


If you use the pianos as ashtrays you have quite some time yet, those are very large recipients .

wink
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2324221 - 09/04/14 11:56 PM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7673
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: PhilipInChina
I realise that circumstances alter cases. With moderate use and reasonable care how long should new strings and a new pin block last before needing replacement?


While strings are eventually "standard" , there are different types of pinblocks, more or less resonant themselves (the heavy blocks containing much resin/glue do not transmit vibrations as much as maple blocks)
SO in your question one may assume the"good" (or better) block was used.

With up to state of art pin manipulation, the block hardly may fail in my opinion. as said A443, "pin benders" will enlarge the holes an lessen the wood resiliency.
While we are tempted to do so on some pianos, and feel a little safe because of the plate bushings, the block under them can suffer damage.
What fail is "only" wood resiliency that migrates from the zones around the pin to farther.
A larger pin will not gain much in that case as there is too much destroyed wood cells around the pin

I have no ideas of numbers there, thicknesses involved for instance, but gently treated blocks show a raise in tightness and good tuning can be "installed" for a so long time that the pins hardly need to be rotated again in the block (hence lower damage to friction)

Of course the wood loose also resiliency by itself in time, then I would suggest that Delignit blocks may age sooner than good maple blocks.


A really well set pin/wire system is much stable, and once the wire is also, most tunings consist of reinstalling the balance of forces between wire an pin, with occasional "turning" of some pins a few tenths of angular degrees .

The wear on the block in that case is much limited.

On the other hand the hurried tuners that can be brutal will certainly damage the block, as the ones that massage the pin from start to finish in order to have a better tactile return and less large/more precise pin rotation all along its lenght.

The advantage of long term stability is ALSO in slow , very slow wear of the block. If the unison cannot be put off really, the tunings mean little manipulations, can be done without turning counterclockwise the pins for instance. (which "sand" the block where the friction is necessary)

"unloading" of the pin does not mean automatically turning it.

I like to use my left hand if I nee to really lower much strings , on a grand, so the pressure is eased on the "bed" of the pin





Edited by Olek (09/05/14 12:05 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2324384 - 09/05/14 11:43 AM Re: Restringing [Re: PhilipInChina]
Ed Foote Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1176
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
According to a materials science professor at Vanderbilt, if carbon steel is not taken past its elastic limit, or allowed to corrode, it has an infinite life. Piano wire doesn't go bad unless treated badly. I have numerous pianos with 100 year old strings and most of them are cleaner sounding than the brand new Steinways I see. Restringing a piano after 15 years simply on a time scale is ill-informed behaviour, and I have years of closely watching my retringing, (in heavy, industrial use), and new Steinways and Yamahas to back that assertion up.

It is a way to taking advantage of customer's ignorance, nothing more. Bass strings can die, yes, but not the plain wire.
Regards,

Top
#2324405 - 09/05/14 12:23 PM Re: Restringing [Re: Ed Foote]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1390
Loc: Manywheres
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
It is a way to taking advantage of customer's ignorance, nothing more. Bass strings can die, yes, but not the plain wire.
That is demonstrably untrue: I routinely track the falseness in plain wire to monitor the degradation over time. This is something that is very easy for anyone with an ETD and the willingness to track. Why it happens, I have no idea: I assume it has to do with the heavy hammers deforming the wire at the capo over time and abuse by banging. I tend to see plain wire last longer with lighter hammers, but simply the dirt/gunk on the strings can cause some falseness too, IMHO.

Besides, how bad does the falseness need to be before the piano should probably be restrung? Everyone has there own standards, but if I am observing a 1 cent all over the place movement in the decay--in the majority of the capo notes--I tend to think it is time to think about starting anew.

The middle section is not as much of a problem with ageing, IMHO, because the hammers are much further away from the termination point and does not deforming the wire as severely, as in the capo.
_________________________
Klavierbaukünstler des Erwachens
...expecter of the best, 'gunslinger' to the rest!
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2324477 - 09/05/14 03:58 PM Re: Restringing [Re: A443]
SMHaley Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 683
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: A443
...but simply the dirt/gunk on the strings can cause some falseness too, IMHO.


My solution... Keep the dirty/gunky hands off the shiny strings. And don't string bare handed. After that the rest is maintaining a clean piano on the inside, until strings rust/tarnish and restringing is quicker or more desirable than cleaning/burnishing existing strings.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Practitioner of piano technology
Church Music Professional
Curator of instruments - Chancel Arts
Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What to look for in a keyboard
by Tikki56
10/01/14 06:30 PM
Christmas duets for Student and Teacher
by Purpl3keys
10/01/14 06:24 PM
The Steinway S in 1936
by Rich Galassini
10/01/14 06:21 PM
Yamaha CP5
by Synner
10/01/14 05:43 PM
Vice grip needle nose threaded bolt dimensions
by Olek
10/01/14 05:10 PM
Who's Online
121 registered (accordeur, A Guy, ajames, ando, 41 invisible), 1371 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76396 Members
42 Forums
157933 Topics
2319401 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission