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#2483315 - 11/22/15 12:53 PM Overtone
philip cg Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/15
Posts: 4
I have a 1989 Schimmel upright. Recently bought by me but appears not played very much in it's earlier life. The piano has been regulated and tuned and is playing well with the exception of the note at the break between the treble and the bass. In particular the E flat immediately above the break sounds flat and the string is left with an overtone (7th) after the note is released. The three notes immediately above are also a bit dead and sound a bit flat but with no noticeable bad overtone. I have drawn this to the attention of the tuner but he doesn't see a cure. The existing strings are steel - would a copper wire string be the answer or what else should I look at. I could live with he other notes but not the E flat which sticks out even when playing a chord.

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#2483329 - 11/22/15 01:59 PM Re: Overtone [Re: philip cg]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23182
Loc: Oakland
If a note plays after you have released the key with no pedal, it is a leaky damper. The damper needs to be adjusted so it hits all the strings evenly. The other dampers may not be lifting properly.

If this has gone on for some time, the hammers may need to be voiced, because players will compensate, resulting in uneven wear. Careful filing, matching the hammers to the strings, is the first step. But take care of the dampers, first.

These are basics. Your tuner should know these things.
Semipro Tech

#2483403 - 11/22/15 06:09 PM Re: Overtone [Re: philip cg]
philip cg Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/15
Posts: 4
Thanks. The tuner has a good reputation and has done a good job so far but I will discuss the damper and further voicing with him. He has done some voicing already but has commented on how little wear there is on the hammers for the age of the piano.

#2483887 - 11/24/15 02:56 AM Re: Overtone [Re: philip cg]
rXd Online   happy
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2270
Partials bleeding through dampers and other problems are sometimes caused by less experienced or less knowledgeable tuners forcing tuning wedges too far between strings and altering the string spacing, sometimes trapping the delicate damper felt. Normal slight movements in the soundboard and bridges can also be a cause when the dampers are already borderline.

Consequently, most often the appropriate way of correcting bleeding dampers is to re-align the strings to the dampers.

While problematic last notes on a bridge can take a lot of experience to correct, I would question the elementary skills of a tuner who doesn't automatically correct the odd simple bleeding damper in the course of a tuning.
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

#2484425 - Yesterday at 01:22 PM Re: Overtone [Re: rXd]
philip cg Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/15
Posts: 4
Thanks Amanda. I asked another tuner to have a quick look. This man is a member of the association and has a life time of experience. He is going to change the damper as it is not hitting the strings correctly but is not guaranteeing that it will get rid of the problem. Pushing the damper firmly does not stop the after-ring but touching the string above the damper does. Waiting for the tuner to find time to come back. Busy time of the year. Hoping that this will be the cure.

#2484566 - Yesterday at 08:39 PM Re: Overtone [Re: philip cg]
GMG Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Victoria, Australia
The 7th partial is usually prominent in this part of the range, I wouldn't call it a bad overtone as it is just the natural part of the harmonic series giving character to the sound. It does sound like the damper needs adjusting though. Your tuner could put a twist in the dead strings or run a loop through the string which can sometimes bring some life back into the sound.
muso, part time tech.

#2484696 - Today at 07:56 AM Re: Overtone [Re: philip cg]
philip cg Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/15
Posts: 4
The harmonic wouldn't be noticeable if it didn't linger after the note so hopefully the new damper will relieve me of this problem. Will mention your other comments to tuner when he is here. Thanks for your help


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