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#617667 - 11/26/01 12:59 PM Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ

I have a new Pleyel P131 upright that has had 2 tunings in about 5 months. I'm noticing a continuing problem with the damper pedal. There are a few zones on the piano where the damper pedal doesn't produce a full sustain. Most noticeable is the Eb below middle C, and the F# 2 octaves up from middle C. The sustain problem appears to drift out in both directions from these two epicenters.

Another wrinkle: the Eb is where the strings change to wound copper and start to cross, and the F# is where the plate has a large support "beam" causing a separation in the strings.

Do you know what might be causing this, and can it be fixed by a technician? I've had two different techs out to work on the piano and they are able to make some improvements but the sustain drifts out again within a matter of weeks.

I'd appreciate any help here. It's my first new piano so I don't know how much of this is typical of new pianos, how much is my own paranoia and lack of knowledge as to the mechanics of the piano and damper system.


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#617668 - 11/26/01 08:35 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Nina- it sounds like its out of regulation. Regardless, it's a new piano and you should continue to pursue a remedy through your dealer. trust your ears. If it doesnt sound right to you, keep on asking questions until you are satisfied....Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#617669 - 11/26/01 08:53 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Just speculating since I obviously haven't been one of those techs to check out this problem but my hunch would be that there is a problem with a damper felt getting periodically loose enough to dampen out the strings and cause the lack of sustain. If either tech returns, he should check to see that the damper felt is firmly glued on the damper block.

Another possibility(though more common in older uprights)is that there's a problem in the damper lever itself. The contact point between its felt and the damper lever rod is too far so its movement gets delayed while the other dampers manage to get off the strings when you depress the sustain pedal.

Mark Mandell www.pianosource.com

#617670 - 11/26/01 10:36 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for your replies... sounds like a fixable situation, thank heavens!

My tech will be out on Wednesday morning to check out the problem. I'll post afterward with anything I find out.


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#617671 - 11/28/01 03:33 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi, Folks:

Mark wins the prize! Turns out it was a very minor adjustment to the pedal, down at the wingnut. The tech thought it was due to two things: 1) the felt had gotten thinner through use; 2) the wingnut itself had perhaps loosened a bit, again with use.

I crawled under there to play with it a bit myself, so if/when it drifts out again I will be able to make the adjustment.

My tech didn't even charge me, which was very nice as well. After some mannerly "no, I insist," and "no, I could't possibly," I was at least able to give him a cup of coffee and send him on his way with some fancy peppermints.

Thanks again, I am very relieved and happy to be back playing those long legato passages!


#617672 - 11/28/01 08:55 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 4342
Loc: Florida
Nina, Some nuts on pedals have a secondary lock nut - which prevents the adjustment from changing with use. If you don't have a second lock nut, use locktight, or a drop of super glue on the thread. This will lock the nut in place.

#617673 - 11/28/01 09:31 PM Re: Question about damper pedal 'unevenness'
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi, Bob--

That's excellent advice. I was wondering later why it wasn't a lock nut (and whether I should just change it out).



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