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#634019 - 01/12/09 02:36 PM can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
musiccr8r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Denver
I am seeking your aid again because I was so impressed with your helpfulness and knowledge last time I wrote a question! \:\) I just got a used, very old piano. I swear it wasn't like this before I moved it, but either from bumping around in the move, or I somehow didn't notice, there are two or three keys that make a funny sound when I play with a lot of force. At a quiet dynamic, not really an issue, but when it's loud there's a knocky sound, almost like a really loud knuckle pop. Is this something I can fix myself???? Thanks in advance.

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#634020 - 01/12/09 04:17 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
_________________________
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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#634021 - 01/13/09 10:02 AM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
Silverwood's kinda a curmudgeon, but he's probably right...

You might give us a little more info: Are the knocking notes adjacent? Where in the keyboard are they? Is it "just" sound, or do you feel something amiss? What kind and how old?

No tech "wants" to come out for a service call only to remove a pencil, but mysterious knocks may be another (or twenty other) story.
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#634022 - 01/13/09 12:32 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Very good JD, it could be a variety of things not described here. No point in discussing it because the OP will have to have the instrument tuned anyways, so why not wait until the tech gets there to fix the problem?

Curmudgeons R us

www.silverwoodpianos.com
_________________________
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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#634023 - 01/13/09 01:42 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
james c Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Berkeley, CA
I once started describing a similar problem to Malcolm Bilson at Cornell- he cut me off before I finished and said "I know exactly what it is". Was he a mind reader? "Take it apart until you will see what obviously is wrong". This worked perfectly and 25 years later that repair is still good. It has actually been great advice for most things in life- don't overthink, take control, trust yourself.

The 80's were simpler times when pianists often fixed and tuned their own instruments. These days things are different.

Obviously a professional will do a superior job, and the most confident amateur needs to know their limits.

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#634024 - 01/13/09 02:40 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
 Quote:
Originally posted by james c:

The 80's were simpler times when pianists often fixed and tuned their own instruments. These days things are different.

[/b]
???

And to think I missed that golden era...even though I played right through it...and never knew a single player who either fixed or tuned their own...
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#634025 - 01/13/09 03:11 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
-------------------------------------------------
quote:
???
-------------------------------------------------

Me to JD!!! I started during the "1980's Golden Era." I guess we just dont know the "good times" even when they are gone!!!!

You know maybe I'm developing Forum Numbness, but DIY'ers just dont flame me like they used to!!!! ;\)
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#634026 - 01/13/09 04:14 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
The 80's were simpler times when pianists often fixed and tuned their own instruments. These days things are different.[/b]

I completely disagree with this statement. It is not on the mark at all.

The only time I recommend (or allow) a client to fix their own piano is to retrieve a pencil out from behind a key cover that easily slips out like on a Yamaha grand. Or to explain how to run a butter knife as I did last night to someone, between the keys to knock out something that had lodged between them causing them to stick. Otherwise, I come out and look at it.

Most pianists do not know how to tune or fix their own pianos. In fact, most, know very little about the inner workings of pianos and/or tuning. Their forte, is playing. Ours is tuning, repairing, rebuilding and the other stuff pertaining to the insides of the piano.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#634027 - 01/13/09 04:53 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
musiccr8r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Denver
Well, to tell the truth I was thinking of tuning it myself also....but reason has won out. I think I can do "touchups" now, but it is enough out of whack I don't have the mental energy to deal with it, so I'll ask the tuner. But to answer the earlier question, no, it is not keys close together, it's one fairly high up, the middle c#, and one pretty low in the bass. It is a sort of "knocky" sound. It is almost as if the hammer is hitting off center or somewhere it is not supposed to hit, and only with force, so I can play just fine up to a point but when I get loud/forceful, it strikes something. Like I said, I'm not 100# sure, but I know for a fact that at least the middle C# was not doing it before I moved it, because I pounded out a piece on it before I bought it that has a running loud trill right on that C# so it could not have failed to catch my attention. Anyway, thanks all, maybe if the tuner figures it out I'll tell you what he says and you can rate it against your own predictions! \:\) Incidentally, I tried out another old piano in the search process where there were MANY keys that had exactly this same problem. Like, about a third of them. ?

PS it is Lyon and Taylor 1906 upright "cabinet grand". With 10-year warranty!

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#634028 - 01/13/09 07:33 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
james c Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Berkeley, CA
Ok, that didn't come out right.

That was my personal experience where I went to school, not everyone's the way I stated it.

musiccr8r, i am putting in my guess for broken jack springs!

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#634029 - 01/13/09 08:55 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3866
In the 80's I got asked if I was a tuner or a technician. (Tuners didn't do repairs). I also got asked if I was a PTG member
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#634030 - 01/13/09 11:18 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by james c:
The 80's were simpler times when pianists often fixed and tuned their own instruments. These days things are different. [/b]


Are you talking about the 1780s? By the 1880s piano tuners and technicians were already in demand...
;\)
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#634031 - 01/21/09 05:14 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
musiccr8r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Denver
I have the answer! Not something I EVER would have guessed, but here it is: underneath the keys that had the issue, the felt had disappeared...the felt located at about where the wood of the key would disappear under the front face of the piano. The tuner suggested that and I'd have poohpoo'd it but when I looked under the the keys that had the issue and compared them with others that were fine, every time, that felt was gone/worn awy. I still can't wrap my head around what exactly was happening, but apparently when I struck the keys with lots of force they were physically hitting wood on wood, and not so much when I was playing quietly.

Thanks all and is anyone surprised?? \:\)

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#634032 - 01/21/09 08:35 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
No
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#634033 - 01/21/09 08:37 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Just another example of a problem that would be simple to diagnose and repair by someone who sees and hears it, and a terrible waste of time for anyone else to speculate about.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#634034 - 01/21/09 10:16 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
You are right on BDB - it is easy to caught up in too much speculating around here.

Finding out that the keys knock because the front rail punchings have been ravaged by mice or moth larvae does not solve anything. It is a diagnosis. The punchings need to be replaced, and PROPERLY REGULATED in order for the piano to play as it is supposed to. Key level, dip, aftertouch, let-off, capstans and blow height need close attention, at the vey least...

Never mind what the other felts look like if there are FR punchings that have disintegrated over time...

Solved??? I don't think so....
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#634035 - 01/22/09 08:51 AM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2100
Loc: Maine
I've had a bit of a complex on this forum because my posts are mostly comments or lame attempts at humor. This thread is a good example of why I tend to avoid ESP, long distance, guess-and-bygolly diagnosis attempts.

It's great that some posters here take a stab, and often hit the mark, but it can get really muddy at times when you can't put eyeballs or ears on the problem.

I think when we say, "Call a Tech", some folks get miffed, but there's a good reason that advice comes up, and this was a good example.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#634036 - 01/22/09 04:54 PM Re: can this be fixed by me?...SOLVED!
musiccr8r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 268
Loc: Denver
hmmmm, I'm a little sad this post seemed to generate some negative vibes. First off, by asking if I could fix this, I was in no way intending to imply that you tech.'s are not needed or that this is just a simple sort of job that anyone can do. In a previous post I asked a question and got some great, DIY advice that seemed willingly offered, so I tossed this question out too. Sorry if it offended in some way.
Secondly, I didn't mean "solved" in the sense that I got this suggestion and ran with it myself. The tuner replaced the felts and used all his tools to adjust the little loopie where the key lifts, and adusted the inside right behind the front area of the mechanism (I use "loopie" and "mechanism" advisedly to demonstrate my own ignorance, not to demean the knowledge you all possess and that I wish I shared). So no, it was not solved in the DIY sense and would not have been solved properly if I HAD tried (due to the other adjustments). Just solved in the sense that this was the answer to the problem, so anyone who had chosen to respond and had their own opinion on what it might have been could consider themselves "high 5'd" by me.
Thanks David, and I wasn't miffed at the reccommendation. Just surprised at some people's "tone" given my previous experience here.

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