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#628512 - 09/10/02 11:01 AM New Piano - Broken String
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
My tech was shocked when he broke a string when tuning the F# just below middle C on my piano.

The piano, a Mason & Hamlin BB, is only a couple of years old and gets average of 1 hour use per day.
It is fastidiously maintained, with damppchaser and regular RPT attention.
It broke where the coil leaves the tuning pin.

So, the decision had to be made:
Replace the string, or splice it.

What is preferred?
For what reasons?
How rare is this on a newer piano?

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#628513 - 09/10/02 11:13 AM Re: New Piano - Broken String
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Personally I would splice for the following reasons:
1.
_________________________
pianoseed

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#628514 - 09/10/02 11:31 AM Re: New Piano - Broken String
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Sorry, something caused me to crash.
Personally I would splice. The old string is already stretched and would not require retuning as often. It is also the original string. It will sound like the others. A new string might not sound like the old one, perhap unnoticible. I carry a generic piano wire that may not be exactly the same as on the original piano. The string you mentioned runs under the bass strings and would be more difficult to replace, costing you more. I always splice whenever possible.
As to your concern about the age of the piano and its newness. Strings break. Sometimes no one knows why. It is rare even on old pianos, but I have had it happen on new pianos. It usually happens when the pitch is being raised a significant amount, but not always. I talked to a pianist on a cruise ship. Their pianos are tuned weekly and he said they have string breakage problems on all their pianos on board. Could it be corrusion from the salty ocean? Who Knows? Get it fixed and do not worry about it. Good luck.
_________________________
pianoseed

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#628515 - 09/10/02 12:11 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Kenny--

That's a rather freak sort of thing on a piano like that. Most likely due to the tuner NOT stopping himself in time when he was turning the tuning pin. But like THammer, I would also recommend the splicing of the string since it's going to stay in tune much longer than a new one would.

Mark Mandell@pianosource.com

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#628516 - 09/10/02 01:34 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
Differnet strokes..... If steel wire I would replace it, if a bass string I splice if practical.

Strings break - metal fatigue. I've only broken two strings in my years when I've been thinking of other things and had my lever on the wrong pin.
_________________________
Brian Lawson, RPT
Johannesburg
South Africa

http://www.lawsonic.co.za

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#628517 - 09/10/02 09:24 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Brian, that is a pretty good record. Come to think of it, I have never broken a string. Two or three strings break each year on pianos I tune but it is NEVER my fault! ;\)
_________________________
pianoseed

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#628518 - 09/10/02 10:24 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
I had a string break the first time I ever tuned a Steinway. ( Many,many years ago), and I wass on the other side of the room. And I aggree completely, . I dont break strings, they break!!!
_________________________
Maker of the TCHAMMER
www.thomasccobble.com

BUSY IS BETTER THAN BORED

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#628519 - 09/12/02 11:51 AM Re: New Piano - Broken String
G-Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Dallas Texas
I will say this much,When i am tuning a note & i don't hear any pitch chang then i stop & check too make sure that i am on the right pin.I have expierianced being on the right pin & barely hearing a pitch chang.Telling me that a string is in the stages of breaking.usualy on an old piano that has lost all of it`s stretch & can`t go on any further.

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#628520 - 09/13/02 03:59 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
Alex Hernandez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1967
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Lawson, RPT:
I've only broken two strings in my years when I've been thinking of other things and had my lever on the wrong pin.[/b]
This has happened to all of us wheather we admit it or not. ;\)
_________________________


Blüthner USA, LLC

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#628521 - 09/13/02 08:16 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Lawson, RPT:
Differnet strokes..... If steel wire I would replace it, if a bass string I splice if practical.

Strings break - metal fatigue. I've only broken two strings in my years when I've been thinking of other things and had my lever on the wrong pin.[/b]
Brian is right on- strings even break in the factory, it just happens sometimes. Plain wire- replace. Bass- replace with an exact duplicate or splice. Personally, I wouldnt want a splice in such a new piano, for no other reason than it's new. Thats just me, though.............Sam
_________________________
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.

www.SamLewisPiano.com

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#628522 - 09/14/02 03:13 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
I have to agree with Sam and Brian. On such a new piano replace a plain wire string. Nothing looks more hideous on an expensive piano than a spliced string.It is not difficult to do,tonally it will not sound different,and it will not take that long to stretch since the piano is new and as a whole it's strings are still stretching and stabilizing.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#628523 - 09/15/02 01:06 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
OK, I'll change my earlier stand recommending the splicing but you have to make sure that tech comes by a number of times to retune the string.

Mark Mandell@pianosource.com

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#628524 - 10/13/02 04:23 PM Re: New Piano - Broken String
Niles Duncan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 513
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Replace the string. Splicing may be OK on an old junk piano, but this is a nearly new high quality piano so it's absurd. None of the reasons given for splicing are valid for this piano. The original wire is only a few years old so replacing with new wire isn't going to sound different. It's under the bass strings? So what? Sure it's a little more difficult to replace than one that's not under the bass strings, but it's not impossible and it's not that much more difficult to do. Yes the new string will need a few more tunings, but again so what. It would just bug me to see a spliced string on a new Mason & Hamlin and there is no reason for it.

Niles Duncan
Piano rebuilder, Pasadena, CA
www.pianosource.com

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