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#610394 - 02/13/07 09:42 AM Damper problem
John Cole Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Clinton, AR
Hey guys--

I'm a beginning piano tech student and was servicing a small Lowrey grand. She was concerned about the sound of the G# above middle C. I tuned the unison and noticed that when the G# was pressed the dampers for both it and the G immediately below it were raised. I tried the G and it raises by itself like it is supposed to.
I looked at the dampers and they are not rubbing each other above the wires. While the G# is pressed, you can push the G damper back down, but it feels like you are pushing it past something it is caught on below. The same problem occurs on the C 2 octaves above middle C.
How do I fix this? I'm taking Randy Potter's course (received in shipments)and have received basic regulating tools, but not yet received the shipment with the regulating training tape. I told her I would research the problem and get back to her.

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#610395 - 02/13/07 10:21 AM Re: Damper problem
Brick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 373
One possibility is a misshapen piece of damper underlever felt on the back of the keystick(s) catching the neighboring damper. But in any case you are going to have to get in there for the real diagnosis. For most symptoms, there are multiple possible causes.

You will find that pianos will very often have problems that are not just the normal regulation or repair issues, but rather odd glitches and defects you won't find "in the books".

#610396 - 02/14/07 08:44 PM Re: Damper problem
PNO2NER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 128
Loc: Traverse City, MI
Hi John: It sounds as though you might have a problem with the underlevers inside the piano. When a key is depressed, the end of the key pushes up on a small hinged lever which raises the damper. In many pianoes these underlevers have small round lead weights pressed into them to enable the damper to return to the string quickly after that key is played. These lead weights can come loose and rub against their neighboring underlever causing it to also lift. As you describe, it feels like a mechanical binding. To fix, mark the dampers in question, remove the action from the piano and look inside the piano with a flashlight to diagnose the interference problem. Let us know what you find. Pno2ner

#610397 - 02/14/07 08:58 PM Re: Damper problem
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
Or it could be a loose center pin binding.

But most likely the underlever on the G is not lined up properly with the key. If the soft pedal shifts the keyboard to the right, it should not happen when you press the key slightly. (If it shifts to the left, which is not common, the problem should be worse.) You can sometimes fix that by loosening the screw that holds the underlever and repositioning it.
Semipro Tech

#610398 - 02/22/07 08:46 AM Re: Damper problem
John Cole Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Clinton, AR
I know another option might be that one of the lead weights in G#4 has come loose and is catching on G4. If that is the case, how do you get it back in place? Can I just take something and push it back in place? Will I need a pair of pliers to squeeze it back into the damper underlever? Do I need a different special tool?

#610399 - 02/22/07 09:10 AM Re: Damper problem
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1988
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Wait till you get the action out, then find the tool that works. It's good to have old/odd pliers and screwdrivers and vise grip around. Then a couple of good files and a hammer and make what you need. Usually you have to anyway.
Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

#610400 - 02/22/07 04:51 PM Re: Damper problem
thepianodoctor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Ireland
Hello John.
Im pretty new to the piano tech game myself - only been in it a couple of years. Grand dampers are the work of Satan \:D they're horrible to work at. I had a similar situation a while back and it turned out to be the keyback felt that had become ragged and shifted, thus rubbing the neighbouring damper lever. Have a look at that first(or perhaps just a mis-aligned key?), and hope that that IS the problem...then work onto the dampers........AND GO WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD!!!! \:D

Best Regards

Hard work pays off tomorrow....procrastination pays off immediately!! wink

#610401 - 03/05/07 09:16 AM Re: Damper problem
John Cole Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Clinton, AR
Hey guys--

This process has been slow, I know, but tuning is not my full time job (at least not yet). I had the client do the test where you press the una corda pedal. She called me back this morning and said that she did the test and on both keys it made the problem "go away." So I guess the problem is with the keys (maybe that cushion on the back end) or some foreign object that is in there instead of with the damper underlever system. Am I right?


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