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#2390460 - 02/24/15 04:12 PM New piano loose front rail bushings
ontrack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Australia
Have a deposit on a just-out-of-box Yamaha CX grand and noticed some of the keys had enough lateral movement to just touch.

Dealer turned the front rail pins to ‘fix’ it but I was not happy with that, and neither were my usual technician or Yamaha. So, the pins were returned to neutral by a senior technician and the wood and the existing felt bushes were worked in some way to stop the lateral movement.

Is this the way to do it or should the felts have been replaced on the loose keys (after a suitable time for local acclimatization in case that changes things)? They said the repair 'can last a long time' and can be adjusted as necessary later on, but will it last as long as bushings that fit properly in the first place?

I guess my question is, ‘Is this good practice on a quality, new, unused piano and will the worked front rail bushings have the same life as the others?’

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#2390556 - 02/24/15 08:21 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
Burnside Piano Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Franklin TN
Something is very wrong there. Yamaha's specs call for 0.3mm of lateral movement; it sounds as though you're seeing more like 3mm! Turning the front rail keypins should never be necessary on a new piano. Someone at the factory might have overzealously eased the keys.

Can you get more information about how the key bushings were "worked in some way"? It's not possible to guess how long the repair will last without knowing what work was actually performed.
_________________________
Kent Burnside, RPT
Franklin TN 37064
615.430.0653


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#2390586 - 02/24/15 09:42 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
ontrack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Australia
Apparently they compressed the felt in one direction to thicken it up in the other and they tapped or pushed on the wood. There was some talk about 'fluffing up' the felt. I'll try to get a clearer description.

They said it was a 'pretty permanent measure' that 'can last a while' but obviously I wonder if the felt will just return to its original dimensions with time and lateral pressure on the keys, leaving us with the gaps again.

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#2390594 - 02/24/15 10:08 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
Burnside Piano Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Franklin TN
Not sure I understand the first concept--compressing felt to thicken it? Tapping on wood to tighten the bushing involves using a tool to crush wood behind the felt, expanding it slightly into the mortise opening. Definitely not a repair approach one would expect to see employed on a brand-new piano.

They might have better success with a liberal application of VS Profelt into the bushings, though it's anyone's guess how long-lasting this will be under the circumstances. Normally sizing cauls would be inserted right after the chemical to limit the amount of felt expansion, but in this case it might be better to let it swell as much as possible. That's better than crushing wood cells in new keys.
_________________________
Kent Burnside, RPT
Franklin TN 37064
615.430.0653


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#2390639 - 02/25/15 12:51 AM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3869
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I'm not a tech, so you don't need to take my thoughts seriously, but as a pianist, I'd be outraged if my brand new piano was treated this way! I would insist on a new set of keys with the appropriately sized bushings. That was a ridiculously destructive thing to do to a new piano. Crushing wood is an irreversible procedure - and possibly quite unsightly when you look at the keys from the side with one of them depressed. Clearly it needed the bushings being redone - and that's what should have happened.

What they did was a cheap ass solution that should never have been contemplated on a new piano. A new piano shouldn't need needling on the bushes to fluff them up - and you are right to be concerned about the durability of such a measure. It doesn't last because the felt won't have the density to fill the space. It's something you do on an old piano to get some more life out of it before having to commit more finances to it. I did this to my 50 year old Yamaha. But I'm sorry, what you described sounds to me like nothing short of vandalism and I'd be calling Yamaha's head office to discuss this matter. I don't think they'll be any more impressed than I am. Sorry for ranting - this just got me outraged on your behalf!

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#2390779 - 02/25/15 11:45 AM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
SMHaley Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 1026
Loc: Seattle
This is definitely a significant warranty issue if this is in fact a new piano. If you aren't getting satisfaction with the dealer I'd try the rep. A new Yamaha should have beautiful snug bushings with no movement and perfectly level and spaced keys.
_________________________
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Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional
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Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2391050 - 02/25/15 11:19 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
ontrack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Australia
Spoke with the Yamaha rep (who is also a technician) to find out exactly what was done.

The wood was apparently left alone, which is good.

The gap in the bushings was dealt with by using a tool to tap and push more of the felt into the space.

It wasn't clear to me how far into the mortice the additional felt was pushed but he ended up saying it was most of, but not all of the way in.

He said it was as good as new but I remain dubious about durability. I wonder if there is as much felt in the space as there would be if it fitted properly in the first place - with less surface area against the pin and less density to resist compression. And if the felt had to be sort of ripped to push more of it in while it remained glued to the wood, will it wear or compress in the same way as undamaged felt?

Has this been a common new Yamaha C or CX grand problem? I thought the C5X would have had better quality control in Japan than this. They say they season them to their driest specification and then factory seal them so I would have expected the day after opening everything would be as nice and snug as in the factory. I get the impression that my experience is not what used to happen with new Yamahas. Yamaha have confirmed that it is a genuinely new piano.

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#2391462 - 02/26/15 11:35 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
harpon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/14
Posts: 245
Loc: jacksonville
Not a tech either and I wouldn't do this with a new piano that should be put up to snuff when sold -don't think the turning of the pegs is good for that reason either- a temporary fix that will wear the bushings again-

but a quick fix I did to my 1980 Baldwin Studio upright- 400 new, delivered- was simply add a drop of glue to the rather uniform dimples the pins had formed- a small spot of felt in the dimple proved too much and made the keys stiff, but ONE DROP of household plastic glue into the nice round dimple shored up the sides just right and stopped a lot of side play- I've been playing it for months now and the fix hasn't failed

between that and new rail felts front and center, and the action's really not bad for a piano now 35 years of age.


Edited by harpon (02/26/15 11:36 PM)
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#2392176 - Yesterday at 09:12 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: harpon]
SMHaley Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 1026
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By harpon

but a quick fix I did to my 1980 Baldwin Studio upright- 400 new, delivered- was simply add a drop of glue to the rather uniform dimples the pins had formed- a small spot of felt in the dimple proved too much and made the keys stiff, but ONE DROP of household plastic glue into the nice round dimple shored up the sides just right and stopped a lot of side play- I've been playing it for months now and the fix hasn't failed....


Nope, not an approach I'd recommend, and definitely not on an instrument that is supposed to be new and under warranty. Key bushings don't just take up slop, but are to be a friction free bearing for key movement. Glue definitely defeats that purpose. I'm more suspicious this is actually a gray market piano that has been cleaned up.
_________________________
PTG Associate
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional
AA Music Arts 2001, BM Organ, Choral 2005


Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2392179 - Yesterday at 09:22 PM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1293
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By ontrack
Have a deposit on a just-out-of-box Yamaha CX grand and noticed some of the keys had enough lateral movement to just touch.




greetings,

I wouldn't buy that piano on a bet! The dealer is bordering on being a con-man to turn pins on a new piano. I have never seen a new Yamaha with excessive key slop, and this doesn't pass the smell test.
regards,

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#2392233 - Today at 12:54 AM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2642
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I strongly recommend you hire and independent piano technician to inspect this piano prior to purchase. This Ed also thinks something doesn't add up correctly.

The methods used to try to reduce side play at the key front other than proper replacement of loose bushings have never impressed me positively. The bushing punch that compresses the wood and felt is a very easy tool to bring ruin to a set of keys.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2392241 - Today at 01:44 AM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3869
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Ontrack, do you have any updates yet? You can PM me and tell me who the dealer is as I'm in Australia too - it might be a clue as to how honest they are.

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#2392268 - Today at 03:30 AM Re: New piano loose front rail bushings [Re: ontrack]
ontrack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Australia
Thanks to everyone for your replies.

To update/recap, with apologies for length:

1. I’m buying a brand-new piano from a reputable manufacturer to avoid issues with well-worn, badly cared for, or badly made pianos. At $42K (Aus) actual sale price, technical perfection should be assured.

2. The piano was repaired after I pointed out that the keys could easily touch – unlike any new piano I had ever seen. But it was not repaired to factory identical specifications as best I can tell. It seems to me that rebushing would have been the factory equivalent fix and the only one certain to be ‘as good as new.’

3. I have had no explanation for multiple keys being so very loose except for the suggestion of a possibly over-zealous regulator in the factory who over-eased the key bushes. I am not a tech but I find this implausible. Would this get past the quality control checks? I am instead concerned about issues with seasoning and acclimatisation during and after the manufacturing process that may have effects in other parts of the piano. Tropical Indonesia before temperate Japan???? Perhaps it is just erratic quality in the felt, but if so, are other areas such as the centre rail bushings okay? Or is it a wood quality problem? Something else?

4. Yes, I have very serious questions about the dealer presenting the piano with loose keys and then turning the pins to ‘fix it’ so I am not relying on their statements at this stage. I am now talking directly to Yamaha’s Melbourne office rep/tech and he will meet me with the piano on Tuesday. He says the piano is as good as new and will be as durable as any other (all things being equal). I am not convinced.

5. No-one I have been in touch with has ever seen (or been willing to acknowledge that they have seen) a Yamaha piano loose like this out of the box. And this is a 6’7” grand!! I’m surprised that Yamaha didn’t recall the piano from the dealer. I wish I could get in touch with head office in Japan and see what they have to say.

6. With all the uncertainties and lack of reassurance from anyone who is independent, my instincts tell me to cancel the sale, insist on my deposit back and lose access to the $2K factory rebate offer. It may leave the least regrets in the long run

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