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#650378 - 05/08/08 09:14 PM Steinway Damper Question
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
My neighbor has a Steinway B grand. Its dampers lift off the strings immediately when the key is depressed. On my Steinway A grand, the dampers lift only after the hammer is about half way to the string. Which is correct?

My neighbor's action feels too heavy for her. Could the dampers be part of the cause?

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#650379 - 05/08/08 09:19 PM Re: Steinway Damper Question
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 787
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Yours is the correct one. Yes, when damper timing is early, you feel that as weight in the key. The dampers should engage when the hammer is from 1/3 to 1/2 of it's blow distance.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#650380 - 05/08/08 10:50 PM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Agree with Roy...
Just to get an indication of how it will feel after getting the dampers regulated try the following...
Pick any note and get used to how it feels when you press it SLOWLY and deliberately....
THEN
Continue to do this as you press the right (damper lift) pedal...
You will notice the feeling getting lighter as the weight of the dampers comes off the back of the key.
Try it and see what it tells you..
There are also a host of other reasons for the action feeling heavy...how old is the piano and has it been serviced by someone who knows what they are doing...?
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#650381 - 05/08/08 10:58 PM Re: Steinway Damper Question
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22693
Loc: Oakland
I have tried a number of new Steinway grands in the showroom where the damper timing is off.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#650382 - 05/09/08 12:54 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
BDB>>>
How did the pianos feel when you played them....?
Always the acid test....

I tend to regulate by feel rather than by the rule...it's how I was shown at the factory....

Although the piano is a mechanical musical instrument, it is played by humans, and should be tuned and regulated by humans.

Compression at different rates is always an issue on any new instrument....most things change in the first months and years and should be regulated accordingly by someone who is more of a craftsman and less of a pedant.

A pedant...
A person who puts unnecessary emphasis on minor or trivial rules or points of learning, thereby displaying a scholarship lacking in proportion or judgment. Such a display often is purely ostentatious, if occasionally fun among friends. However, one should always eschew obfuscation.
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#650383 - 05/09/08 01:34 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22693
Loc: Oakland
I did not like them that way. I have a customer that bought a new Steinway that was that way. It had some sticky damper levers, so I took the opportunity to change the dampers, and it felt much better.

If an action does not feel right when regulated according to the rules I look for a reason for it. The rules establish norms which pretty much every action conforms to, so they are the standards which I recognize in my playing. Had the Steinways been closer to what they should have been, I would not have noticed that the timing was off.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#650384 - 05/09/08 04:02 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
Thank you very much for your helpful posts. I will certainly pass along the information to my neighbor.

Maybe it is just my imagination, but I have encountered many Steinway Bs in my forty-plus years of piano playing, and it seems they almost always have some kind of knotty damper problem.

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#650385 - 05/09/08 05:05 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Olek Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 8218
Loc: France
--
_________________________
Professional of the profession.

I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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#650386 - 05/09/08 05:08 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Olek Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 8218
Loc: France
Weather and cloth quality is taken in account in the factory, that is why factory training are what can provide a tech the utmost knowledge of an instrument.

Agreed about theory , not being the same as the real piano.

Dampers on Steinway most often have too much play when the key is at full dip. When pushing hard on

the sustain pedal the upstop rail can be pushed up at the same time then excessive play develop.

there are neat solutions to this but not always applied (seen yesterday a 1985 mod B with was well maintained in N.Y. but had 1 cm of play of the damper heads).

Then you feel in your finger the rebound of the dampers, it is disturbing.

Same apply to Hamburg, and many other brand as well.

when a sharp is at full dip, its damper may have a very slight play up depending if the piano have a tonal pedal or not) . regulating the upstop rail is a 5 minutes job .
_________________________
Professional of the profession.

I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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#650387 - 05/09/08 11:40 AM Re: Steinway Damper Question
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
>>Dampers on Steinway most often have too much play when the key is at full dip. When pushing hard on
the sustain pedal the upstop rail can be pushed up at the same time then excessive play develop.>>

The underlevers shouldn't hit the upstop rail at all when using the pedal. The Steinways I've worked on don't have an adjustment capstan to stop the trap lever from travelling too far. It would be a good addition, though. Cloth should be added to minimize travel if the dampers are being pushed too high by the pedal. And we really don't want to feel the lightening of the keys when the pedal is depressed.
_________________________
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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