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#634734 - 02/28/02 11:39 AM Help, Harshness
Bechstein Bob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/01
Posts: 26
Hello. I need your help. I just bought a used Bechstein grand which was dropped during shipping causing some damage to the legs. The piano now sounds harsh it is not just brightness, there is a metallic quality when played which was not there when we auditioned it. It has been tuned with the harshness remaining. The hammers are original and look like new. The tuner suggested voicing to tune it down a bit. If the hammers are made softer, how does this affect the sound? is it just a matter of lowering the volume. any ideas? thanks

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#634735 - 02/28/02 12:47 PM Re: Help, Harshness
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
If it was shipped, the legs would have been removed, and I assume crated or at least strapped in within a truck. SO, dont quite follow how damage was caused.

How old is it? for the hammers to be original and look like new it would have to be within a couple of years old and not played.

Going back, if the piano itself was dropped then measurments should be taken to be sure the action is in place and it is regulated before being voiced.

any other data you have?
Brian Lawson, RPT
South Africa


#634736 - 02/28/02 02:04 PM Re: Help, Harshness
Bechstein Bob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/01
Posts: 26
Hi Brian, tahnks for the reply. The piano was crated, the legs were bubble wrapped and taped to the wrapped piano. Somehow, the piano during shipping was dropped/fell over, landing in a normal playing position, the original top og the crate was destroyed. I se your are in SA. I met a really nice tuner Peter Maher, I think he was in Johanessburg. Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll look into it, bob

#634737 - 02/28/02 02:09 PM Re: Help, Harshness
Bechstein Bob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/01
Posts: 26
Hi Brian, You had asked about the hammers, Hte piano is a 1923 Bechstein. The entire action/hammere look brand new. The owner states that they are original. The tuner remarked he was amazed of their condition. And would not know how they could have been cleaned to look like this if indeed they were. I am assuming that they are the original as it explained to me as an older type Bechstein mechanism and I would think the original owner would have mentioned if it were rebuilt to increase the sale price. thanks Bob

#634738 - 02/28/02 03:08 PM Re: Help, Harshness
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 142
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally posted by DSTANTSTAR:
The piano now sounds harsh it is not just brightness, there is a metallic quality when played which was not there when we auditioned it. [/b]

Sorry to hear about this mishap. If I were a tech working on your piano, I would probably do the following:

1. Inspect the piano carefully to see if there are any cracks on any parts of the piano, or foreign objects loose inside the piano.

2. Check all joinery and make sure they are all intact.

3. Pay particular attention to the integrity of the brace beams (if the damaged leg was tucked in the belly of the piano between the brace beams.)

4. Tighten all the bolts that hold the plate to the inner rim of the piano as well as the bolts that connect the plate to the brace beams.

5. Check that all strings are properly sat on the bridges, and have sufficient downbearing.

6. Check that all hammers are hitting squarely on the strings. (I.e., all strings are hit at the same time by the hammer.)

7. Make sure the action is positioned as it should be. (I.e., the strike distance, the strike position, etc. are all correct.)

BEFORE I would start voicing the hammers.

In fact, I would NOT do anything until some kind of agreement is reached between you and the insurance company. You don't want the insurance company to say it was the tech who worked on your piano, and not the accident that caused the problem you described.


[ February 28, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

#634739 - 02/28/02 03:17 PM Re: Help, Harshness
Bechstein Bob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/01
Posts: 26
Thanks Eric for your in depth reply. I will do what you recommend as it seems logical and comprehensive. Bob


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