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Topic Options
#646730 - 01/22/09 10:20 AM Grand Dampers, broken
sunslight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Provo, Utah, USA
Hi people,

I've had to be away because of a bad back--still hurts like crazy.
_______________

I believe a major problem may have just happened with my Estonia 190.

I've been working on getting the una corda pedal to be just as I want it, or rather make certain the hammers hit the strings in just the right place when it's depressed. (i.e., not how depressed I feel right now)

Here's what happened:

this morning, I made a minor change to a hammer flange position. I put the action back in the piano.

When I pressed the una corda and let it return, the alignment looked as I wanted it, the damper barely missed the left string at full una corda. The shift works properly.

Next, I pushed down the damper pedal.

All the dampers lifted as expected, however, when the pedal was released, the entire set of dampers hung, just above their "at rest" position.

I checked the action to make certain it was properly seated on the key bed and in the piano as far back as it could go. It is.

I tried the damper pedal again.

This time, on the damper return, I heard a "creeeek" or rather, "creekcraaack." And the dampers still hung slightly above their at rest position.

Not liking that "crack" sound; with the damper pedal not depressed, I lifted and let drop, each damper head, manually.

All worked as expected, except E2 (the last damper before the end of the bass bridge and before the bass/treble strut).
Lifting it, I felt a little, loose up/down and side to side, wobble.
Letting it drop, maked an audible "click," then, "thud" as it returned to where it started.
The thud sounded like wood on wood.

I pulled the action. Looked at and wiggled the damper flanges and wires, checked for loose screws, and saw/felt nothing wrong.

With the action still out, I checked the sostenuto, which as had the dampers, been working perfectly.

The sostenuto is a complete mess: dampers lift haphazardly or not at all. (The tabs all look in-line.)

Not having much grand damper repair experience, I returned the action and have stopped.

I've called for reinforcements. I'm afraid this may be a major problem: a broken damper rail flange or even rail itself, broken damper return spring?

Any ideas of what I might be able to check, without taking apart the damper mechanism (and probably making matters worse)?
--I know of nothing more I can do or will do, lest you have a suggestion.

what we know is:
the dampers hang barely above the strings when "at rest,"
the manual lifting of E2 (last damper before the bass strut) makes an audible "click" and then, wood-on-wood "thud" when allowed to drop to its rest position,
the sostenuto is a total mess,
the shift works okay.

I won't touch it, unless it's something easy to check; but, I'd like to have ideas as to what it might be.

Thanks,
Bob T
_________________________
__________
Estonia 190, high-gloss ebony, fully touchweighted and wonderful.

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

PTG member. BA in music theory; graduate work in musicology, voice & piano major instruments.

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#646731 - 01/22/09 12:27 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Though it sounds like sostenuto problems, there are too many possibilities here to make any kind of diagnosis online. I would definitely call in someone who can diagnose and fix the problem if you are struggling with it.
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#646732 - 01/22/09 12:31 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4231
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
“I won't touch it, unless it's something easy to check; but, I'd like to have ideas as to what it might be.”

What it might be? It might be time to call a technician and have the problem assessed correctly. Then a quotation for repair……

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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#646733 - 01/22/09 05:15 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
sunslight Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Provo, Utah, USA
The problem was solved!

Silverwood, was that supposed to be a snide remark?

I am a technician. Did you see see my PTG #?

I haven't done that much with dampers & as you know, sostenuto, can become a horror.

I don't think I've ever heard a piano on the floor where the sos was set up right, by the technicians--except for 1 Yamaha S.

I was asking for a help with knowledge. I wouldn't think you'd have a problem with that.

Anyway, I put the question out on the pianotech forum, and got some good, educated guesses.

The last guess was exactly right.

My friend who came over to help (PTG chapter president, former regional VP) and I found the problem and had it fixed in five minutes.

A punching had gotten stuck between the damper rod and the damper rod tray.

Being there, it kept the damper pedal from coming all the way back to its full up position, thus the ringing of all the notes. And a quick adjustment to E2, got it going again. With those things fixed, the sostenuto was again working.

It was good to have my friend come by, to get the very helpful suggestions from the piano tech forum from the PTG, as well as the one by Dave, before you. Education helps, when you are stumped. You look for someone with more expertise. Which I did, by my question posted here and also my call to the head tech at a local university.

I'm glad, I didn't do a turning of screws, etc., without first finding the problem. I knew I was over my head, so I put my tools down and waited for help.

When you say, go call a technician, I don't understand, it sounded almost like a cutting remark. I hope it wasn't meant that way. Doesn't my profile say that I am a piano technician?

Each of us has something to contribute to the other, unless there is a technician who knows every thing, & I haven't meet one like that.

Thanks for your comment. I hope you were trying to be helpful and not take a pot-shot.

The problem is fixed & there was no charge from my friend, for a quick visit.

Bob
_________________________
__________
Estonia 190, high-gloss ebony, fully touchweighted and wonderful.

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

PTG member. BA in music theory; graduate work in musicology, voice & piano major instruments.

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#646734 - 01/22/09 06:00 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2196
Loc: Maine
I didn't detect any snarkiness or pot shots. If you take a look at the post numbers of the respondents, you'll get a hint at the number of times they have had to guess at obscure problems. The fact that a misplaced punching was the problem illustrates the problem it would have presented to a respondent. (We can't see the piano.)

Thank goodness for friends, eh?
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#646735 - 01/22/09 06:04 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2494
Loc: Olympia, WA
Good story Bob and I'm glad it had a good outcome! One of the best things about PTG is the ability to call on our comrades in time of need. I've benefited from that a number of times over the years. Help is usually just a phone call away!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#646736 - 01/23/09 11:38 AM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
It would have sucked had you decided to re-regulate all of the dampers and the sostenuto mechanism to compensate for the unwanted spacing device...that's even worse than regulating all of the lost motion out of an upright before checking the soft pedal adjustment.

Glad the outcome was good!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#646737 - 01/23/09 12:09 PM Re: Grand Dampers, broken
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4231
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
In the original posting the fellow states that he does not have too much experience with dampers and is looking for suggestions to not only repair, but to diagnose the problem.

I didn’t think being a technician, having a PTG number, being a PTG chapter president, or Regional VP had anything to do with this. After all, having the PTG number did not assist in solving, or diagnosing the problem. For me, this is a non-issue.

What did solve the problem was calling in a technician, someone who has had more damper/sostenuto experience. End of story. As has been stated previously, none of us here can see the instrument.
.
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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