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Topic Options
#647181 - 02/08/05 08:02 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh, and one more thing -

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PIQUE !!

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Lisa

p.s. how the heck do you put that little line over the "e" in your name???

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#647182 - 02/08/05 08:58 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
thanks, lisa! you type alt + 0233 \:\)
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#647183 - 02/08/05 09:01 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa D:
Keith, who is Roger Jolly and where can I read about this "cure . . "?

Lisa [/b]
Here are few references, happy reading


http://www.ptg.org/pipermail/pianotech/1999-September/052248.html

http://www.ptg.org/pipermail/pianotech/1999-September/052236.html

http://www.ptg.org/pipermail/pianotech/2001-March/083142.html
_________________________
Brian Lawson, RPT
Johannesburg
South Africa

http://www.lawsonic.co.za

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#647184 - 02/08/05 09:11 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1323
Loc: South Carolina
Pique...

You are right on many counts especially about finding good voicers. This is a real talent and takes a long time to develop the right skills. You do not want to turn someone loose on you piano so they can learn the skill and it is a skill. One of the problem we as techs have is convincing owners that their pianos need more than tunings. Some basic regulation to a piano can do wonders for it yet piano owners often do not want to spend the extra money. I have no problem with someone relating their experiences or making recommendations and they do not have to be a tech to be knowledgeable. There is no way that a tech can know everything in the world of pianos. To get proficient at something you need to be trained properly and then practice over and over again. Voicing techniques are the subject of many technician convention sessions but you need the hands on practice to get good at this. By the way, not all of the information or advice given by technicians is always accurate or the most up to date. We need the input of consumers and piano owners because they are the clients.

To Lisa... Roger Jolly is extremely knowledgeable and often presents at Piano Technician Conventions. I may have some info from past conventions that I can dig up. I will also try to go through some other resources. I would not give up on your piano- the Hamilton is a good piano. I hope you read my earlier post about filing the hammers.
_________________________
Certificate in Piano Technology
Associate Member PTG
Yamaha & Petrof/Nordiska Training
Dampp-Chaser System Installer
Certified Pianomation Installer

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#647185 - 02/08/05 09:16 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
thank you, jim:

"We need the input of consumers and piano owners because they are the clients."

you are my kind of tech. \:\)
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#647186 - 02/08/05 10:19 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Jim. And I did read your earlier post about hammer filing. It makes total sense. I have learned a LOT from everyone's comments in this thread. I wish I would have known about this forum years ago. It would have saved me a whole lot of unnecessary suffering. . . . and its good to hear a positive comment about the Hamilton. I was beginning to wonder. When I bought it I didn't have a lot of piano knowledge under my belt, but I was very picky with tone and action so I tried out a lot of uprights. This particular piano had a very sweet clear tone and I knew it was the one I wanted. It was such a disappointment when the tone changed . . . and then after failed attempts to fix it and not knowing where to turn next - (and lacking in "extra" money, too). . . . well . . . "extreme frustration" pretty much sums it up. So - its wonderful to have some hope again.

Some day when I'm ready to buy my dream grand piano I will definitely be using this forum to add to my education.

Thanks \:\)
Lisa

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#647187 - 02/08/05 10:48 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1323
Loc: South Carolina
The links that Brian posted are very much worth reading. I believe I have some handouts and notes from a convention I attended in Boston about a year and 1/2 ago. Hang in there. Some of these techniques are worth trying but make sure it is by someone who knows what he or she is doing.
_________________________
Certificate in Piano Technology
Associate Member PTG
Yamaha & Petrof/Nordiska Training
Dampp-Chaser System Installer
Certified Pianomation Installer

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#647188 - 02/08/05 09:26 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
my mention of other voicing techniques was intended merely to give her hope that she can avoid replacing the set of hammers.[/b]

Ah, I see...... I guess when you wrote

that's true, they can just pull the action and replace the hammers[/b]

you really meant something else.....
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#647189 - 02/09/05 01:03 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Alex Hernandez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1964
Lisa,

It sounds like your Hamilton's hammers lack the proper elasticity.

When a hammer makes contact with the string it pushes the string into it's excursion. This process is the energy transfer from the key stroke to the string.

If the hammer is too hard then the hammer won't compress properly and skip or recoil to quickly from the string.

This will promote the high partials in the overtone series, kind of like turning the mids and bass all the way down on your stereo.

The hammer will promote a greater fundemental by mating with the string longer ( through compression ) and thereby cranking those bass and mids up. \:\)

That is a quasi technical explanation for what is happening in your piano.

When I was a college tech I took care of many Hamiltons in the practice studios. A warm satisfying tone is possible but it will require extensive pre-voicing.

Avoid chemicals or steam until all the proper leg work has been done.


Good luck!
_________________________


Blüthner USA, LLC

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#647190 - 02/09/05 07:03 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Lisa,

It might a little late to get into this fray but....
It seems odd that your Hamilton would be that bright after only 6 years. Do you play a lot? Do you consider your touch hard? It is bright all over or just in the middle?

Utah is a dry place and your Hamilton was made in Truman ARK, definiately a damper place. What is the humidity like in your home? Voicing is as much a matter of acoustics as manipulating the hammers. Is your piano in "live" room, like hard floors, non curtained windows, spare furniture?

Is the tone thin sounding, kind of metalic? Are there buzzes in the treble an octave or two above mid C? Did you need the action screws tightend to eliminate noisy clicks after owning it a year or so? How does the tuning hold up and how often is it done?

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#647191 - 02/09/05 10:40 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Sam -

Personally, I've also thought it was odd that my piano got so bright in such a short time period of time . . because I definitely do not have a hard touch. I don't pound on it. It's had a lot of Mozart, Handel, Hummel, and Bach played on it -- but nothing huge like Rachmaninov or anything. I've probably played on average 3 hours a day since I've owned this piano.

As for the conditions of my home -- well ... they're not ideal for a piano. We have a swamp-cooler running during the summer, and during the winter the air gets horribly dry. I keep a few small plastic containers filled with water inside the bottom of the piano next to the foot-pedals during the dry season to add some humidity. The room is carpeted and has couches. (The piano I previouly owned was a big old upright with a beautiful tone -- never had to be voiced).

I had the piano tuned 4 times the first year, and then twice a year since. It holds a tune very well and has never had any clicking noises. In trying to describe the tone (which is difficult to put into words) . . . well, it just sounds irritatingly loud . . as in "the opposite of mellow". There aren't any buzzing sounds. It's just impossible to play with any dynamics because it just can't be played soft. It always sounds "hard", even when I try to play soft.

I don't want this to sound like I just want to play soft all the time, though. You know -- I'm having a TERRIBLE time trying to put this into words! I'm sounding like some blubbering idiot. Anyway . . . the overly bright harsh tone is mainly in the middle register - the 2 octaves above and below middle C.

Did that answer any of your questions?

Thanks \:\)

Lisa

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#647192 - 02/10/05 07:15 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Has all the work been done by the same tuner since you purchased the piano? How long after the piano was in your home did the "sweetness" disappear?

I am not familar with the term "swamp cooler." Is that a dehumidifier? Does the piano sound better at a certain time of year, winter or summer?

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#647193 - 02/10/05 07:24 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
"Swamp cooler" is another term for an evaporative cooler. It basically works by pushing air through pads with water in them, which cools it off. It will raise the humidity inside the house quite substantially, and is no longer effective when the dew point is above about 50-55 degrees. It also moves the air in a house MUCH more than standard a/c.

They are great, though! (Low cooling bills and the new ones are really efficient and will make your house cool if not downright cold.)

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#647194 - 02/10/05 07:35 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
three hours a day on average over five years is a lot! some voicers would tell you that after that much playing you do need either a full voicing or new hammers, no matter how well-controlled your room climate is. (others of course would disagree ;\) .)
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#647195 - 02/10/05 08:25 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Anonymous
Unregistered


You're probably right, Pique. I guess what puzzles me a little, though, is that I keep going back to that old upright I owned previous to this Baldwin. It had been played on for years just like this Baldwin, yet it never developed a harsh tone. I wish I could have just kept it, but the wood inside was so old that things kept breaking. (It was at least 100 yrs old!)

Oh, and Sam -- a swamp cooler is called such because it makes the house feel like a cold SWAMP. It causes excessive humidity - so much that the wood in our doors expands and causes them to get stuck. (Hopefully we'll be moving this Summer. We definitely won't have another swamp-cooler either.)

And I would say that the piano sounds its best in the Fall . . . thats when the cooler is only on occasionally. I guess it makes the humidity balance just about right.

And . . . I haven't used the same tuner the whole time. I tried a few different ones until I finally found one that I'm okay with. But I'm going to look up the one that Pique suggested this next time.

Thanks, again everyone for all your helpful replies. I'm amazed at how many of you have come forward to offer your expertise on my behalf. Impressive!

Lisa \:\)

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#647196 - 02/10/05 09:57 AM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oops :rolleyes: --

Before anyone notices and decides to put me in my place I need to explain something:

. . My very first post to this all-encompassing forum was last week and I posted it in the Piano Forum section - (titled, "Baldwin tone question"). Soon after it was posted I looked around and realized that there was a Tuner/Technician forum - (because I was new and inexperienced I was still figuring out how this whole thing works . . . plus . . . I'm just kind of s-l-o-w sometimes) --- Anyway, as I watched my new post move on down the line relatively unnoticed I decided that this Technician Forum was where it needed to be. And ... did I ever find the right place!! As I mentioned in my previous post - I'm totally impressed with all the responses I got.

Well, now I've noticed that my first post on the other forum has had some replies and has moved back up the line. I just didn't want you all to think that I wasn't satisfied with the information I received here and decided to post the same thing elsewhere! Totally NOT the case. It was just a little mistake made from a rookie PW member.

Okay? :rolleyes:

Lisa \:\)

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#647197 - 02/10/05 05:57 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
The piano is a slave to its enviornment. You may have started out with some overly hard hammers and the brightening is natural result of your daily playing. But changes in humidity creates changes in tone for a variety of reasons, including bearing changes, action regulation and density of hammers. Baldwin suggests humidity between 40-60%. The closer you get to any number in that range and stay there the more stable your piano. If you are satisfied with your tuner he/she should be able to do an aggressive voicing that should solve your tone problems. All of the physical repairs suggested earlier are legitimate solutions to voicing problems in general. I'd say put first things first: Stablize the enviornment. 1: Get a humidstat and keeps things consistent. 2: Be certain the piano is tuned correctly. That may contribute to the "sweetness" issue. 3: Once those two are done voice the piano to your tastes. Even if the hammers are badly worn a tuner should be able to get the tone to the appoximate value you desire. Once there he/she can suggest if the hammers are worn enough to replace. This way you will know if the difficulty lay with something fundemental with the piano structure or merely a hammer issue. Good luck.

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#647198 - 02/10/05 08:29 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Lisa, don't worry, there is no loyalty on these lists, post something wrong and get flamed by the person who complimented you the day before. I post on two lists and read others though not often. I am going to start my tuning quest after I pass the technical part of the RPT test on March 6th.

Honestly, 3 hours a day is a lot of play time. I'm jealous. Your key bushings are probably worn out and the friction isn't giving good ppp control. Naaa, just a wild guess.

Your tech should weigh the action and regulate and address friction and pinning problems before ever sticking needle in because "Regulation IS Voicing". Another quote from the illustrious Roger Jolly. If the hammer is held back and then fired from a cannon, so to speak, the sound you get is always brighter. Probably after the tech adjust the action and shapes (not files) the hammers, your whole problem is going to go away for awhile.

kpiano
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#647199 - 02/10/05 09:56 PM Re: Need a technician's opinion
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
and the friction isn't giving good ppp control.[/b]

Now *that* is not a good situation...... one must always control their ppp......

_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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