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#27132 - 04/07/05 10:43 AM action
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
I know i posted earlier about the difference between renner and other actions... my answer was quality of the action....

oK, I can totally appreciate that... but what specifically does it affect, feel, etc?? I have played many pianos in the past year or so, as I searched for my (Schulze Pollemann)choice of pianos. I love it, but i really am curious on descriptive differences so that when i play other pianos i can have a feel or lack of feel for the quality of the action.

silly question huh?

Sorry if I am hashing out my old question from a few weeks ago... just really want to know

THANKS~!
_________________________
Denise

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#27133 - 04/07/05 11:32 AM Re: action
Eins Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 748
Loc: Utah
Hi Denise,
If you speak German, you will know that all other actions are slower than Renner \:\)
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One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute.
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#27134 - 04/07/05 11:54 AM Re: action
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
Arno,
Although i am decended from mainly German ancestry, I do not speak german... other than a few phrases.
_________________________
Denise

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#27135 - 04/07/05 12:44 PM Re: action
iyi bir piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 664
Loc: USA
What affects the feel of an action are many different factors.

Key length and its position within the balance rail.
Key weight distribution.
Dampers Assembly weight
Angles of components within the action assembly.
Dimensions and weight of the components of
the action assembly.
Amount of friction at different points:
center pins, jack-knuckle, balance rail pins.

Definitely another factor that affects the feel of the action-touch, is prep work done by the tech. Hammer drop, distance to the rail, let off,
friction reduction etc.

Here there are a few things you can look for in the action.

Play across different registers and try to feel how even they are from one key to the next one.
Key drop, return and after touch. Distribution of weight across the keyboard.

Check the action response.
Find out how soft you can play and gradually increase volume.

Attack and repetion.
Look for a feel of conection from key-touch to sound response.
Try playing same key with short strokes at low volume and also louder, do the same using longer strokes.
Try different attacks from legato to staccato, sforzando, forte to sudden piano, trills at very low volume, increase volume gradually when trilling etc etc.

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#27136 - 04/07/05 12:59 PM Re: action
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5372
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by neciebuggs:


OK, I can totally appreciate that... but what specifically does it affect, feel, etc?? I have played many pianos in the past year or so, as I searched for my (Schulze Pollemann)choice of pianos. I love it, but i really am curious on descriptive differences so that when i play other pianos i can have a feel or lack of feel for the quality of the action.

Silly question huh?

THANKS~! [/b]
No, itís not a silly question. Indeed it is an issue that is much misunderstood and ends up being used to further confuse the already confused customer.

I will probably have to don my flame suit for the next month (have you ever tried sleeping in one of those things?) but ó
All modern actions ó regardless of manufacturer ó can be assembled, regulated and balanced to a degree that any differences in touch and feel will be undetectable by even the most picky, err, discriminating, pianist. Period. The technical and quality differences (at least those that matter) between the various actions being manufactured today are minimal. I think, without exception, they are all derivations of the early Erard/Hertz action design. This basic action was adapted by Steinway back around 1870 or so and has gradually evolved and survived as the now-standard piano action. An attempt is currently being made by Ron Overs (Sydney) to revive his evolution of the early Langer action but only time will tell if he will be successful.

(Note: A possible exception to the above will be the Kawai action. Although the basic design and geometry are similar its wippen and flanges are made of composite materials which are both lighter and stiffer than their wood counterparts. Some have claimed this gives them at least potentially a crisper and more precise touch and feel.)

More to the point of your question is how well the piano maker assembles the action to the piano. This may include assembling the individual parts to the rails (ensuring proper alignment), mounting and aligning the rails to the brackets (establishing an appropriate action geometry or lever ratio), mounting the assembled action stack to the keyframe (locating it appropriately to the key capstan), specifying an appropriate key balance point (key lever ratio), hanging the hammers properly (making sure they end up in the right place), weighing off the keyset (ending up with an appropriate balance weight), checking the action for friction (ensuring touch consistency and free motion), etc. In other words, it matters very little if the worlds supposedly best action is used (and, of course, featured in the four-color, glossy brochure) if careful attention is not paid to all of the above.

If you encounter a piano with an action that is not working properly it will not be because the piano manufacturer did or did not use a Renner action. It will be because that manufacturer did not do its job of assembling and fitting the action to the piano properly.

And while Iím on the subject, letís stop blaming the dealer for improper action function. The piano should leave the manufacturer with a properly assembled, regulated and weighed-off action. Unless the piano is dropped ó hard ó or otherwise mistreated during shipping it will not go out of regulation between factory and dealer. (Yes, Iíve had enough experience with the process to be sure of thisÖ.) At most there might be a bit of hammer alignment to do but even this will be rare. If a piano arrives at a dealer in need of a great deal of prep work ó and many do ó you can be pretty sure it left the factory that way. Yes, I do find it more than passing strange that any manufacturer would leave something as vital as fine action regulation, weighing-off and voicing up to the dealer. It would be like BMW expecting its dealers to accomplish the final engine tuning and wheel alignment. While some piano dealers do employ excellent technicians for this work, others do not. And even among dealers that do have good technical support, not all do a complete job of prepping the pianos they sell; often leaving this work to be done only if the customer notices something wrong.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#27137 - 04/07/05 02:13 PM Re: action
G. Murdaugh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 235
Loc: Springfield, MO
Excellent post Del!
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G. Murdaugh
Piano Craft Inc.


Authorized dealers for new Yamaha, Kawai, Walters, Young Chang, Kohler, Roland, Allen, Lowrey and....

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#27138 - 04/07/05 02:28 PM Re: action
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14597
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
"Even among dealers that do have good technical support, not all do a complete job of prepping the pianos they sell; often leaving this work to be done only if the customer notices something wrong."[/b]

To which I would also add:

"The better known a make - the more this seems to be the case"

norbert \:o
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#27139 - 04/07/05 02:50 PM Re: action
G. Murdaugh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 235
Loc: Springfield, MO
I must respectfully disagree with Norbert, I think it has little to do with the make, and every thing to do with the pride of the dealer.
_________________________
G. Murdaugh
Piano Craft Inc.


Authorized dealers for new Yamaha, Kawai, Walters, Young Chang, Kohler, Roland, Allen, Lowrey and....

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#27140 - 04/07/05 03:01 PM Re: action
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
Del and Iyi, THANK YOU! That makes much more sense to me. \:\) I appreciate the time you both took to post.
_________________________
Denise

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#27141 - 04/07/05 10:34 PM Re: action
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Many years ago, working for a Baldwin dealer, a message came from the factory lauding the store tech as the "last element in the assembly of the piano," which we interpreted that they sent us the pianos in loosely assembled parts and we were supposed to finish putting them together.

Touch on a piano is relative to the individuals personal training, skill, physical strength, and the acoustic value of the piano and room it is played in. ie: A small person fond of Baroque but of limited skill in a dull room might consider a piano "heavy." A small person with training and strong hands in a bright room fond of the big romantics might consider the same piano "light." A big person , with sensitve hearing in a big room might consider the same piano dull and heavy, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

As a field tech I have seen countless circumstances where with a little acoustical tweaking in the room, I've taken a piano "too hard to play" and made it much "lighter." Every tech has tuned a piano and had the customer say, "what have you done to make the piano feel lighter, easier to play?" Nada, zip, just tuned 'er up.

Perception, perception, individual perception.

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