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#616059 - 11/10/08 05:32 PM Birdcage action...?
sadishradish Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/08
Posts: 2
Loc: /
From what I have read a piano with a birdcage action has a small soundboard and is difficult to tune because you cant get to the strings ect. However, the piano I just got is full size, the soundboard fills the whole cabinet, and the hammers/dampers/everything else comes right off and out of the piano in one piece leaving the tuning pegs and strings open and exposed.

Is this a true birdcage action? If not, are any of the problems with those pianos eliminated by the removable system/full sized soundboard?

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/inego/hall009.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/inego/hall008.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a123/inego/33.jpg

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#616060 - 11/10/08 06:02 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
I would stay away from a birdcage action no matter what size of piano it is install in. Yes the action comes out to expose the strings and tuning pins but you need the action in to tune the piano. You need the force of the key striking the hammers to set the string and tuning pin.
Wayne
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#616061 - 11/10/08 06:02 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
Yes, it is a birdcage action. No, the problems are there.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#616062 - 11/10/08 06:44 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Happy Birthday Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Not worth any energy...
I saw far too many when I lived in the UK....
Throw it away please.
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#616063 - 11/10/08 10:48 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453


I'm not a tech, but that looks...umm... scary...

I see why poorly designed (thanks, Supply!) birdcages would be a bear to work on. I'll bet that many a birdcage has been subjected to .


\:D
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#616064 - 11/10/08 11:35 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
run away! run away!

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#616065 - 11/11/08 01:15 AM Re: Birdcage action...?
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1054
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Casey:
run away! run away! [/b]
Sam

was "Run away! Run away!" from a Monty Python flick? Holy Grail? Can't remember the source. Always love to use it in this situation. The perfect response to the birdcage upright.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#616066 - 11/11/08 10:11 AM Re: Birdcage action...?
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
Actually, that is a pretty nice looking birdcage (many of you will say that is an oxymoron). A lot of the ones that I have come across don't have a cast iron frame. From the picture the parts don't look too decrepit. Despite all the negative feelings most techs have toward the birdcage design I don't think they are quite as bad as they are made out to be, especially a transitional design like that appears to be. You just have to adjust your expectations.

One of the advantages that few people talk about is that the centerpin of the hammer flange is closer to the strings since the dampers aren't in between the hammer flanges and strings. This allows the hammer to lean back at a little bit more of an angle giving it a little more gravity assist in returning.

I guess I'm just one sick individual!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#616067 - 11/11/08 01:31 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horowitzian:
I'm not a tech, but that looks...umm... scary...
I see why birdcages are a bear to work on. I'll bet that many a birdcage has been subjected to .
Horrorwitzian, what are you basing your assessment on, seeing that you are not a technician? I'm just curious. When I look inside a computer, it looks pretty complicated and intimidating to me. That doesn't mean that it is no good or that no one can service it....

Sadisradish, the "problems" you mention are not the issue at all. Access to tuning pins and strings is a no-brainer. There are the techs here on the list who have the experience.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#616068 - 11/11/08 04:03 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 Quote:
Originally posted by Supply:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horowitzian:
I'm not a tech, but that looks...umm... scary...
I see why birdcages are a bear to work on. I'll bet that many a birdcage has been subjected to .
Horrorwitzian, what are you basing your assessment on, seeing that you are not a technician? I'm just curious. When I look inside a computer, it looks pretty complicated and intimidating to me. That doesn't mean that it is no good or that no one can service it....

Sadisradish, the "problems" you mention are not the issue at all. Access to tuning pins and strings is a no-brainer. There are the techs here on the list who have the experience. [/b]
I am not a tech, but I am interested in this sort of stuff, and someday I may want to learn the trade. So I study up. ;\) And I always read the tech forum.

"Horrorwitzian" --

I hope I'm not that much of a nuisance... \:\( :p

PS--I LOVED the "Don't you hate it when..." thread from several months ago. I followed it avidly until it died. \:D
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#616069 - 11/11/08 05:14 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horowitzian:
I simply can see that it is impossible to get to anything without disassembling all those "birdcage" parts...
Sorry, you are wrong. It is neither "impossible to get at anything" nor do you have to disassemble any parts to service these pianos, if they are in servicable condition.


 Quote:
I am not a tech, but I am interested in this sort of stuff, and someday I may want to learn the trade. So I study up.
That's great. But until you have done so for a considerable period, have gained first hand experience and knowlege, it might be a good idea to refrain from expressing your essentially uninformed opinions as facts. Someone may get the wrong idea. And you could get yourself into hot water.

I am saying this with friendliness and out of respect to you and to this forum. This being the Piano Tuner-Technicians Forum, many techs here don't view this as the intended place for non-technicians to fly their diagnostic or other test ballons.

Read, listen, ask questions, and you will be treated well. Getting ahead of yourself and making too many assumptions or "me too" postings will likely get you flamed, judging by past incidents around here.

So stick around, we can all have a good time....
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#616070 - 11/11/08 05:36 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, we can all have a good time.....as long as we dont encounter too many bird-cage actions. I hate those things. Nope, you dont have to take the action out. What would be the purpose in doing this? You dont have to dissemble anything.
But for some reason, my mouth gets dirty when I tune one of these blasted tjomgs!!!!!

They are aggrivating...simply revolting!!!! And they always sound so awful with their pitiful, tinny sound.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#616071 - 11/11/08 05:52 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
“And they always sound so awful with their pitiful, tinny sound.”

And for this thread it is the ultimate in assessments. No matter what you do to these instruments, nor how much money you throw at them, they still have a small Victorian sound, not popular much anymore…..much like driving a Model T on the freeway. Everyone is going by you like you are standing still………..

I have several of them here actually, one in the front yard with tulips in it,……….. one in the backyard with morning glory all over it, ……….and then one waiting in the garage……
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#616072 - 11/11/08 05:56 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Horowitzian,

Working on a wire sticker action?

You have to have the ability to string profanity into whole sentences.......need a lesson? ;\)
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#616073 - 11/11/08 05:57 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 Quote:
Originally posted by Supply:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Horowitzian:
I simply can see that it is impossible to get to anything without disassembling all those "birdcage" parts...
Sorry, you are wrong. It is neither "impossible to get at anything" nor do you have to disassemble any parts to service these pianos, if they are in servicable condition.


 Quote:
I am not a tech, but I am interested in this sort of stuff, and someday I may want to learn the trade. So I study up.
That's great. But until you have done so for a considerable period, have gained first hand experience and knowlege, it might be a good idea to refrain from expressing your essentially uninformed opinions as facts. Someone may get the wrong idea. And you could get yourself into hot water.

I am saying this with friendliness and out of respect to you and to this forum. This being the Piano Tuner-Technicians Forum, many techs here don't view this as the intended place for non-technicians to fly their diagnostic or other test ballons.

Read, listen, ask questions, and you will be treated well. Getting ahead of yourself and making too many assumptions or "me too" postings will likely get you flamed, judging by past incidents around here.

So stick around, we can all have a good time.... [/b]
Jurgen,

Thanks for the prod. \:o I'll definitely keep that in mind.

I didn't intend to come across as an idiot, so I'll edit my post.

I sent you a PM.

I'll try to read mostly and ask only intelligent questions... \:\)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#616074 - 11/11/08 06:44 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Silverwood Pianos:
“I have several of them here actually, one in the front yard with tulips in it,……….. one in the backyard with morning glory all over it, ……….and then one waiting in the garage…… [/b]
The one on my front porch made a good display for our Jack-o-lanterns this year!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#616075 - 11/11/08 06:58 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
Welcome to the Birdcage Forum. All birdcage discussion 24/7.

I don't get it. I don't think I have seen 20 of these in the last 30 years of tuning and yet, they come up here every other week. Are there a lot of these in the states? I would have thought we would have more here in Canada with the British connection and all.

Maybe we could start a square grand forum while we're at it.
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#616076 - 11/11/08 08:33 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
Is it really surprising that you see lots of questions if these things are so unusual?
_________________________
Will

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#616077 - 11/11/08 08:35 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Thompson, I feel your pain.


You and I know how to perpetuate a thread: keep on posting. So we are both to blame. The opposite is true, too - if no one posts, the thread goes away.

I don't think this forum is particularly over-damper heavy, but maybe I am missing some threads? I also don't think it is technicians initiating birdcage threads. The next time a non-tech starts on about birdcages, perhaps you can quickly point them towards the archives?

As far as squares are concerned - go for it!
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#616078 - 11/11/08 09:46 PM Re: Birdcage action...?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 Quote:
Originally posted by Silverwood Pianos:
Horowitzian,

Working on a wire sticker action?

You have to have the ability to string profanity into whole sentences.......need a lesson? ;\) [/b]
:D I'm not, but if I ever have to, I'll PM you for the lesson...I've never needed to string profanity into sentences...except maybe once or twice when I've had a particularly bad day practicing piano! :p

And from what Ron said about overdamper pianos above, I'd guess I might want to brush up on sledgehammer technique beforehand. \:D

I just want to say while I'm at it, that I enjoy reading the tech forum very much. Right now, I am a student of piano playing who is very interested in piano technology. I gotta know how stuff works. And yes, I'd like to learn tuning regulating, and voicing someday...but rest assured, I leave my piano in the hands of an excellent tech. No DIY tuning for me until I learn how to do it right.

BTW, whoever posted the story about burning out the yellow jacket nest in the "Don't you hate it when..." thread a few months ago has my full support. I HATE yellow jackets...bumblebees...or any other kind of stinging insect.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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