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#617775 - 11/04/07 10:08 AM should I kiss my tech or kill him?
chwejinho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 45
Loc: U.S.
Hi,

I hate to bother you all with more situation-specific questions that don't have solid answers, especially mercenary ones having to do with quotes and all that. (Also maybe I should have made this a reply to the other thread on Steinway rebuilding.) But my problem with my tech also has something to do with the protocol of agreements with a rebuilder.

Over a year ago I purchased my pretty gal, with the helpful advice of my tech and this forum! Steinway AIII, 1905, see picture:

.

(Isn't she nice?) She came at a very good price, even with the understanding that she would need an entirely new action. She has plenty of response (and crown) in the original soundboard, and the pin block is still good--I have kept both.

My tech said his price for rebuilding the action was $6,000. I probably should have checked out his product but he said he didn't have at the time a representative rebuild he could show me. He came highly recommended by my closest friends, a family which includes two very fine pianists, one of whom used to be the U.S. rep for Bosendorfer, so for a player, he knows quite a bit about pianos. They have been using him for 30 years. Also he's a nice guy. I decided in the end that in addition to reputation, I had to go with someone whom I knew cared about whether or not I was happy with the result.

I accepted the price, and he built a new action with parts ordered from Hamburg Steinway, with the exception of the hammers, which are Abel. We talked a lot about it, and I obsessed about the hammers, would Steinway hammers be better? I told him: I want an action as heavy as reasonably possible, and fluffy hammers. But a lot of my research indicated that Steinway hammers are difficult to work with, and in the end I trusted my tech and went with his recommendation.

She comes home, and to my horror, she is both light and bright: not what I wanted at all. But my tech remained unflustered, and after three regulations/adjustments, she was heavier, and much less bright. Then finally he added lead weights to the keys. He probably spent 40 hours on all that. But she still wasn't what I wanted: there was something missing, some kind of resistance that is like a hot knife cutting through butter; also that round, warm, pearl-like sound.

So now my tech says, I think you'll be happier with Steinway hammers. How much will that cost? About $1,800, he tells me. Aghast, I asked him, what will I do with the old hammers? Keep them, he said. Can I sell them? I asked, because I had kind of been hoping that he would take them off my hands. Maybe; post them on craigslist or something, he said. Which also horrified me; if he doesn't know who could use them, or won't help me get rid of them, who will?

Why didn't we go with Steinway hammers from the beginning? I asked him. Well what I gave you IS what I use when I want to give someone a mellower sound, he said.

So now I've spent $6,000 of money that I didn't really have (I am a student) on a totally new action, and now I have to spend another $1,800 on a second set of hammers! I know that when you rebuild, you're sort of stuck with what you get. But it's killing me that I've wasted money (much of the money that went into this piano I accepted from others, in the form of loans and grants) which would have been avoided if we had gone with Steinway hammers in the first place.

So I'm sort of feeling jerked around by my tech, at having to pay twice for hammers. I kind of expected that included in the price of the rebuild was his doing his best to make me happy with the results, with the information I gave him.

On the other hand, I think his prices have been more than reasonable; he says that Hamburg parts are almost double the cost of parts by other makes. If that's true, then I guess his price for the rebuild was very good. Also, I guess I couldn't expect him to replace the hammers with all new ones for nothing; otherwise some neurotic pianist (like me) could keep having him do it over ad infinitum without his ever making any money.

So my question is, should I strangle my tech with my two little octave-span hands? or should I be grateful that he's sticking it out with me this way? Is it reasonable to keep charging for do-overs? Should he have made a different call on the hammers in the first place with the information I gave him? (I am kicking myself that I didn't just drag him to a piano, and say, here, make it like this. But we went and played many pianos together when I was shopping, and I felt he had a reasonably good idea of what I wanted.)

Though,like i said, I don't know what else would be a satisfactory solution. I suppose I would have been happy if he only charged me for the cost of the new hammers, and not the installation; but I wonder if in a sense he has not already done that, since the cost of the rebuild and the cost of reinstalling the Steinway hammers ($1800) are both pretty low, from what I've read.

Sorry to be so long and neurotic. Thanks.

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#617776 - 11/04/07 02:10 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
You trusted your tech and did not like the result. He indicated a willingness to work with you by spending much extra time on the action.
None of this work is easy - especially getting inside of someones head to discover what is truely desired. It takes experimenting and working with someone willing to take the time. It may have been helpful to look for a SS-A that had a Abel hammer set installed to get an idea of the sound but this is hindsight at this point.
A tech cannot do this for free and feed himself and pay the rent.
Abel is a good choice for hammer as well as Steinway, Ronson, Isaac or Classical West.
I would have picked the Isaac's or Classical Wast based on your post - but that is my interpretation.
There is always room for compromise and negotiation with someone willing to work with you.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#617777 - 11/04/07 04:54 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Mechanical Doll Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Garden State, USA
"Well what I gave you IS what I use when I want to give someone a mellower sound, he said."

Why don't you ask him outright if he would buy the hammers back from you at cost? While I wouldn't expect that he's asked to rebuild action all the time, he did state it was a product he used whereas you would likely never touch them again.
_________________________
Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~Confucius

Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. ~Jean Paul Richter

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#617778 - 11/04/07 07:11 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
Abel hammers do not come to mind when one wants a mellow sounding Steinway. As far as kissing your tech, I guess that depends on your feelings and gender preference. :->

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#617779 - 11/04/07 09:11 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2336
Loc: Lowell MA
You can lean the Abel hammers towards the Steinway type of sound. At this point it may be the lesser of the two expenses.

Beware, the action is only half of the formula.

Regardless of HOW the sound board looks, cracks or no cracks, the "look" of bearing or not, the only real way to tell if the board is working properly is by the sound.

Too often, when only the action is rebuilt on an old piano, there is an expectation that EVERY thing will be there in terms of sound.

Be cautious as you move forward. I'd recommend asking a lot of questions and doing a lot of listening before you commit "saw to wood"
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

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#617780 - 11/04/07 09:42 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
My thought is that the last few sets of hammers I have gotten from Steinway have been pre-lacquered. So, just switching to Steinway hammers may not give you the sound that you are looking for anyways. They aren't so "fluffy" anymore. You might be able to find someone with an older set of Steinway hammers.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617781 - 11/05/07 01:39 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Roy is correct,

The new Steinway hammers are pre lacquered. They are easily voiced to the tone one desires. (within the norm) Out of the box they can be brighter than Renners or Abel's They are better than they used to be but still not as easy to work with compared to let's say Abels with the new natural felt offered by Wally Brooks. These new hammers from Brooks LTD are quite nice in my opinion. Nothing wrong with Steinway hammers but they can be more work and a bit more challenging to work with.

Question, How heavy do you want the action?
Does your technician have Steinway shanks with different hammers hung on them to give you an example of different tone qualities form different makers? Not that each set is going to sound like the sample, but it does help.

We as technicians need your input and then we make the best decision with the information we have. We have no ability to know the outcome of a hammers tonal quality. We can only work with what we have and then build the tone from there.

Bright hammers can be dealt with, sustain can be a bit harder to achieve. You mentioned the board has plenty of crown. I would try to voice the hammers you have down. And if that does not work have you tech swap a few shanks with Steinway hammers and see if you like that better, if so then change them.

Once again if you use new Steinway hammers be prepared for a brighter tone than what you may have heard on Steinways a year old or older.

If your tech is good at voicing then one way or another, needles are the answer.
Just changing the hammers does not guarantee you the sound your dreaming of.
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
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#617782 - 11/05/07 01:39 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
pnofixr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 6
Loc: midwest
The only hammer you should be considering is a Genuine Steinway hammer. While it is not widely advertised you CAN purchase these hammers from Steinway & Sons without the current pre-lacquering.

Yes, it's a lot of work voicing Steinway hammers; who said it should be easy?

bob cloutier

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#617783 - 11/06/07 08:41 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
tds Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
In my opinion, the hammer manufacturer is rarely the problem. In most cases, the skill of the person doing the voicing is the variable and the primary reason that some hammers sound "different" or "worse" than others.

At the school at which I previously worked, there are two Steinway concert grands side by side on one of the concert stages, one with Steinway hammers and the other with Renner Premium Blues. For the life of me, I never could tell much difference in the sound of the pianos because the head technician is so skilled in voicing.

Having said all that, I will concede that there are some hammers which are a bit more labor intensive than others, due to the hardness of the hammer felt used. I try to avoid these when I can.

Before condemning any hammer besides Steinway, which I actually prefer, you should try to hear some other good quality hammers voiced to their full potential. You might change your mind.
_________________________
Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas

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#617784 - 11/06/07 10:33 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
pnofixr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 6
Loc: midwest
For the owner of the piano in question, in my opinion, it doesn't make sense to invest in a Steinway piano, and then slowly make it less-Steinway by installing other parts.

I've been using Genuine Steinway hammers for more than 30 years; there is no substitute.

bob cloutier

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#617785 - 11/06/07 11:18 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1298
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
This is the type of problem one runs into when the tech may be an excellent piano tech, but not necessarily a good player. I've played pianos that have been expertly built and sounded inadequate, and have played really beat up Steinways with "inferior" workmanship that were exquisite. When you have a piano rebuilt, the end result is a little bit of a crap shoot. I know some techs would disagree, but that's my experience.


Also, Abel hammers (which I really like) do not egual mellow. The European sound is more of a bright, clean sound as compared to the "American" sound.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#617786 - 11/06/07 12:22 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
pnofixr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 6
Loc: midwest
For the owner: another point which hasn't been addressed is the weight of the action; you said it was "light".
In your initial statement you said your technician ordered action parts for your piano from Hamburg Steinway. If your piano is a NY-made Steinway, then indeed you would now have the incorrect action parts in your piano, and this would be one reason the action is light.
Action geometry for a Hamburg-made piano is different than that for a NY-made piano. When Hamburg parts are used on a NY action it generally comes out too light.

On the other hand, when your tech said he was getting Hamburg-Steinway parts, there's a chance he told you this meaning he was actually ordering Renner parts from Germany, as Renner makes the action parts for Hamburg Steinway.
Renner does make action parts for Steinway pianos in different geometrys, including the correct geometry for your NY-piano. However, only a hands-on inspection can determine exactly what is now in your piano.

To add to this confusion, you could order parts for your piano from NY Steinway, they (Steinway parts dept) would look at your serial number and send you their "pre-84" action parts (pre-1984) and these parts are made by Renner. Unfortunately, even though Steinway sells these parts, in this regard they are off on the geometry, and these parts are seldom satisfactory.

To make pre-84 parts Steinway takes a normal Hamburg repetition and installs a flange that has been drilled off-center to shift the position of the repetition, and it only creates other problems.

Renner parts for Steinway pianos, of various geometry, are all available from Renner-USA in Arizona. Still more parts, both Renner-made and NY-Steinway made are available from NY Steinway. Piano techs seldom order directly from Hamburg Steinway, as they can get Genuine Hamburg Steinway parts directly from NY and save time.

Your piano tech was not necessarily trying to deceive you when he said "Hamburg Steinway parts"; it's just that most pianists are busy learning notes, not the geometry of Steinway pianos by vintage and origin.

Chances are if your tech can successfully voice down the current hammers to your taste, as it would then be more mellow, you would use a little more hand weight and have the sensation of a heavier action..... perhaps.

good luck,
bob cloutier

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#617787 - 11/06/07 02:41 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
chopin952 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 492
Loc: North Carolina
chwejinho, sorry for your unfortunate issues.

Listen to these great techs. Make sure you are installing the correct parts. I had NY S&S hammers installed on my NY S&S last year and they came exactly as I wanted: fluffy. My tech did nothing to them after installation so that I could get a feel for them. I am breaking them in slowly as he voices them every 3 to 4 months. Mellow, complex, full, rich, etc... as I expected.

The action ended up heavier (around 62g downweight average). Contrary to what you're looking for, I want it in the low 50s so my tech is looking into it (e.g. friction issues).

If your piano is indeed a NY model then you should be able to get the hammers w/shanks+flanges for around $1100 unless they've gone up considerably. That's what I paid last year not including installation. To me they are worth every penny. The previous Renners made my piano sound loud, bright, and thin.

Not a tech here. Just a happy client.

Good luck and beautiful looking piano btw.
_________________________
-chopin952 (NY S&S B) (On YouTube)

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#617788 - 11/06/07 05:05 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Great website chopin952! should be stickyed somewhere for public reference...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#617789 - 11/06/07 10:03 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2336
Loc: Lowell MA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pnofixr:


Action geometry for a Hamburg-made piano is different than that for a NY-made piano. When Hamburg parts are used on a NY action it generally comes out too light.

[/b]
HHHmmmmm....... My experience has been the opposite ... Depending ...
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

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#617790 - 11/06/07 10:08 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2336
Loc: Lowell MA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pnofixr:
While it is not widely advertised you CAN purchase these hammers from Steinway & Sons without the current pre-lacquering.

[/b]
Again, HHHmmm... Maybe not so easy.

Again, experience tells me that one would have to be doing a VERY large business to get this consideration.

I am curious to hear how you do this.
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

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#617791 - 11/07/07 08:27 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I am about to rebuild an action on a Baldwin R. Is it essential that I use "authentic Baldwin parts"?

One point about restoring these old Steinways...the parts availbable today from Steinway are nothing like the parts of yester-year. Put them together side by side. The modern parts work well enough if they are matched up correctly. But authentic? No way. They are completely different. You are changing things quite a bit whether you use Steinway parts or not.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617792 - 11/07/07 09:30 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
tds Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
I still maintain that the overall result of an action rebuild is less about the parts tht were used and more about the skill and judgment of the rebuilder.

Just using "Genuine Steinway parts" doesn't necessarily guarantee a competent rebuilding job if the technician can't or won't do the rebuilding properly.
_________________________
Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas

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#617793 - 11/08/07 08:49 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Couldn't agree more, Tom
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617794 - 11/09/07 04:43 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
I am concerned as well about the lightness of touch. What exactly did your tech do for your $6k? Did you get an itemized list?
Keys rebushed?
Balance rail holes resized?
Capstans changed out?
Damper underlevers replaced? With what?
Adding lead to keys is an absolute last resort when all else fails. It screws with the original design and geometry. It is usually done wrong as well.
Was your piano restrung? Ever?
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#617795 - 11/09/07 07:59 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Craigen:
I am concerned as well about the lightness of touch.

Adding lead to keys is an absolute last resort when all else fails. It screws with the original design and geometry. [/b]
The light touch probably has to do with the Hamburg parts. Knuckle cores are at 17mm instead of the original 15.5mm. This counteracts the heavier hammers, but maybe too much in this case.

I am interested to hear how keyleads affect action geometry \:\)

You are correct that other issues should be addressed before adding key leads.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617796 - 11/09/07 08:12 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21292
Loc: Oakland
Just for fun, I measured the various Steinway shanks I have lying around the house. Most of them (1890s NY, 1920s Hamburg, 1930's NY, Teflon era, and the Renners sold as pre-1984) measure 16 mm from the center pin to the center of the knuckle. Current NY and Hamburg measure 17 mm.
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Semipro Tech

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#617797 - 11/09/07 11:04 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
My understanding has been that original dimension was at 15.5mm, NY Improved at 16.5, and Hamburg at 17.

I looked at my parts kits and catalogs. Without actually measuring anything, the Renner parts kit verified that original, modified, and Hamburg were all different. In the Pianotech catalog, the Abel replacement parts are at 16, 16.5, and 17. Tokiwa offers knuckles at 15.75 and 17mm.

Personally, I have always had trouble measuring this accurately with a small ruler. I use my digital calipers, but it still doesn't seem that exact. Getting exactly the center of the pin, etc., is tricky.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617798 - 11/10/07 02:35 AM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Roy, ever tried pushing the pin out a bit and measuring with calipers from the outside of the pin to the outside of the knuckle core, then subtracting 1/2 of the pin diameter and 1/2 of the core thickness?
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
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#617799 - 11/10/07 03:40 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
RoyP,
You are correct in your query. Adding keyleads doe not alter action geometry. I mispoke myself. What I ment to say was that adding keyleads tends to subvert the original design and is frequently administered before all other concerns are met. Good eye!
Reading your sig it shows that you are into rebuilding and modification. Just different mind-sets and philosophies.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#617800 - 11/11/07 08:53 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
"But she still wasn't what I wanted: there was something missing, some kind of resistance that is like a hot knife cutting through butter; also that round, warm, pearl-like sound."

Facinating thing about our work. Here is a nice poetic description of one persons perception of an ideal sound. However one persons hot buttery knife and warm pearls may not be anothers. Personally I would have gotten a very clear idea what expectations the customer has and how realistic. The very obvious confidence issue between customer and tech is matter of translation of poetry into technical reality. Before putting more money into the piano I'd suggest 3-4 month hiatus. Play it for a while. Give the work a chance. There really is no rush. A person can get hypersensitive and focus too greatly on percieved issues. Perspectives can change with time. There is a lot money already invested and the tech has spent quite a bit of additonal time to satisfy. Work up a Mozart sonata or 3 to perfection then let's look at it again.

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#617801 - 11/11/07 11:35 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Supply:
Roy, ever tried pushing the pin out a bit and measuring with calipers from the outside of the pin to the outside of the knuckle core, then subtracting 1/2 of the pin diameter and 1/2 of the core thickness? [/b]
Nice tip, Juergen. I've tried it now. Just the sort of thing I like....simple and obvious, but I hadn't thought of it. I usually came close enough eyeballing it, but this is a little easier.

Craigen, I was sure you just mis-spoke.

One thing about all this is that Steinway's methodologies have varied alot over the years. When is it right to change it, and when is it not?

As much as I have argued against the necessity of using "all Steinway parts", that is exactly what I have done on the last few Steinway actions I have rebuilt. It's the "safe" way to go, if the customer wants to spend the extra money. That's basically what I tell them. Other parts work fine too, if the action is set up right. I run into alot of Steinways with Renner hammers on them. Most of them sound good, but I actually do prefer the Steinway hammers to Renner Blues. I just don't think that there is only one correct way. That is all.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#617802 - 11/12/07 05:49 PM Re: should I kiss my tech or kill him?
chwejinho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 45
Loc: U.S.
thank you all so much, you guys are WONDERFUL!!!! I can't tell you how grateful I am for all of your input. I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner, I've had the flu for the last week.

so in response to some of your helpful investigative remarks:

1. it has been restrung once since its birth, but many years ago; it's okay now, but it could use restringing; probably in 5-10 years i will absolutely have to.

2. he did tell me, and i did understand, that the Hamburg SS action would feel lighter, which is why he got me hammers from Abel that are the heavier ones, he says. he said that the quality of Hamburg parts was preferable, and what he always uses.

he also said that renner does indeed make all these parts, but the ones for SS are made to SS specs, for both NY and Hamburg respectively, and you get them from SS, not from renner. is this right? I saw that you wrote it's no longer necessary to order Hamburg parts from Hamburg?

3. he has revoiced extensively, so we both feel that revoicing alone is not going to get me what i want.

4. how do we get non-lacquered SS hammers? i want these things softer than q-tips. beleeeve me i'll break them in. i've already played away the revoicing he did completely.

5. it's been a year since he did the work, so i've given it plenty of time. that's part of what's driving me crazy, that i can't believe it's been so long and she isn't there yet.

Cragen:

for $6K he put in new everything that moves except for the keys and the dampers; i assume that means the damper underlevers too? i guess i mean everything that is part of the action mechanism that you pull out of the piano. he did rebushings.

I don't know about balance rail holes and the other things you mentioned. sigh.

but none of you think he is being unreasonable, right? i know it's a crap shoot. and i should probably add, she's far from unattractive as she is. she's just not the girl i want to settle down and have a family with.

geez louise. SS shanks but different hammers?
he's said that he's ordered sample SS hammers from NY for me to try a few out before i cough up for installing an entire new set of hammers.

i can't thank you all enough. i will be checking back frequently.

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