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#626674 - 10/03/06 02:48 AM Action (damper) regulation problem???
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
I am used to play uprights mostly. The latest upright I owned is a Boston UP-132. I mentioned in some posts of other threads I find it difficult to controll pp (certainly ppp) playing, especially in the bass section. Other uprights I played were often (much) better in that department. However what I always experienced with the uprights I played was that as soon as the damper left the string (something I could check visually by removing the front board) little or no extra key pressure/downward movement was needed to produce a sound.

Recently I played a grand with an even action all over the 88 keys. However on all keys (except for the non-damped ones) is was difficult to play pp or if you like easy to press a key without producing any sound: when pressing the keys lightly you could hear/see the damper let go of the string but a significant extra pressure/downward movement of the keys was necessary to produce any sound.

Is this a question of regulation/tight damper springs or a phenomenon that is typical of a brand new action that still needs some playing-in?

schwammerl.

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#626675 - 10/03/06 10:53 AM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
scutch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: california
My guess is that it is a damper timing problem. The upright sounds like the dampers are picking up late in the key travel and the opposite for the grand.
Try to look at the hammers to see if the damper is just begining to lift at about half of the hammer travel.
Regulation will determine how easily ppp can be achieved.
In a grand the damper will add resistance to the key and if picked up too early in the key stroke the action will feel heavy making ppp more difficult. Similar with uprights.
In either case damper timing is only part of what is required to achieve ppp.
If there is friction anywhere in the action ppp will be more difficult and this would not be unusual in a new piano.

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#626676 - 10/03/06 11:45 AM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
See how close the hammer comes to the string, when you play so slowly that there's no sound. It should come within a few mm of the string.

This is the essential adjustment that affects control at pp.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#626677 - 10/04/06 03:26 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
Jan-Erik Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1302
Loc: Finland
If there is friction problems with a new action, the quality is inferior.

Running in by playing means that some more frequently used keys will get lighter than the rest and you will end up with a very uneven action.

Running in can be beneficial for getting an exact regulation as some parts might settle with the use.

If a piano in a shop feels heavy and the pianissimo playing is difficult, you had better pass by and try another.

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#626678 - 10/05/06 08:50 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
It is common for a new piano to need to have its friction points addressed in some way, be it key easing, alchohol/water solution on the action centers, etc. Unfortunately, not all dealers perfrom this service to their pianos, prior to presenting them on the showroom floor.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#626679 - 10/06/06 01:27 AM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Rich,

If it is true that what the dealer told after having contacted the European importer, "the action was regulated exactly as prescribed" is key easing, as you explained, something that should be insisted on?

The suggestion from the dealer was also to just run it in for about 50 hours and wait till the action gets smoother. But as Jan-Erik said that would not guarantee you to get an even action because you could be using about 40% (3 octaves) mostly during that 50 hrs playing-in!?

Tha method with alcohol-water which you describe, is this a standard procedure? Does it take much time to perform?

schwammerl.

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#626680 - 10/06/06 12:56 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
vik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/01/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Canada
Ehh... I'm doubtful if the 50 hours of playing will make much of a difference to the action. Hammers? Yes, if it's been voiced/carded, but I don't understand about the action bit with this theory of your dealer.

I've personally never heard of the alcohol/water mix but I'm a newbie to the industry. My professors have always injected Protek and taught us to follow suit.
_________________________
University of Western Ontario - Piano Technology

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#626681 - 10/06/06 01:41 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
scutch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: california
When pianos are manufactured with wood that is not completely cured the wood will continue to cure after assembly. It shrinks. When it shirnks, all flanges/bushings and key mortise/bushings will get tight. This happens to some degree with all pianos.
Alcohol water will shrink the felt to fit the center pins of flanges and relieve much of this friction - however this technique is not as accurate as repinning and reaming/burnishing the felt on both sides of the flanges to get optimum fit and friction. You have no way of knowing on which side of a flange the friction is comming from - it could be one or both sides. Alcohol water could get varied results - which works ok much of the time.
Protek only lubes the felt temproary - it will require re-application on reurn visits.
I have never used alcohol water on key bushings.
Usually just easing the felt with the Yamaha tool or key easing pliers works ok - however there are some that must be rebushed as the above techniques are not enough and the force required from the pliers will start crushing wood fibers.
When thinking about "playing it in" as a cure to problems like this one should consider that many flange bushings will last a hundred years or so.

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#626682 - 10/06/06 10:17 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
The bottom line is, a piano can (and should) be playing to its full potential, particularly as it relates to action performance, while at the showroom. How else is a customer to be able to determine what they are buying? Consider also that most manufactures these days have machines that 'play in' there pianos to help them settle.

The examples of service I gave, are intended to be only that--examples of things which may or may not be needed to be done on a given piano. It is up to the technician who is there with the piano to determine whether one particular method is appropriate at a given time.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#626683 - 10/13/06 06:32 AM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
The problems I mentioned in the first post is likely due to the let off being to far off: 6mm instead of 1.5 - 3.0 mm. Maybe at the same time other parameters like blow distance will have to be checked/regulated.

How much time would such an operation take on a new instrument (assume the tech has to go through every note individually)?

Is this something that is done on site?

schwammerl.

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#626684 - 10/13/06 09:42 AM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
6mm!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

And that action was regulated as prescribed?????

It might need a day of regulating. Check the damper lift, 1/3 to 1/2 the way to string, and if it needs that or key leveling, add a day or two.

A full regulation can take 2 to 3 days.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#626685 - 10/13/06 02:13 PM Re: Action (damper) regulation problem???
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by schwammerl:


Is this something that is done on site?

[/b]
Yes.

--Cy--

(I'll take the easy answer! :-)
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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