Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing

Posted by: John Pels

Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 10:35 AM

Friends, I am restringing the CC2 and having some weird issues with hitch pins and tied strings etc. Do any of you have any info fresh in your mind about where the tied strings should be. It was originally (to me) strung with a pseudo Steinway D scale and all seemed well, but I took no pix prior to the teardown and at that it might not have been correct. Alternately, if some of you might have pix of this area of the piano(hitch pin area tenor section including area at tail) I would greatly appreciate some help. I have contacted Bruce Clark at M&H and he has no such info.This was also posted in the tech forum. The vintage of my CC2 is 1965, but I'm open to all vintages. Something will work.
Thanks, John Pels
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 11:33 AM

Let's see John, oh here we go...If this picture isn't clear enough I'll take another for you later today, just let me know. My tech is coming today, so any questions let me know. You say it's 1965? I've had varying dates for my CC2, with the closest being Sept 1966 being stamped on a few hammers. Serial number 1607, what's yours?
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 11:42 AM

I found another picture...
Posted by: BDB

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 12:00 PM

What he needs to know is which strings are looped around the hitch pins and go back to the adjacent tuning pin, and which are tied at the tuning pin. If you could look at the hitch pins on your piano, starting at the bass-tenor break, and let him know whether the string is looped, (L), or tied, (T), he would have the information he needs.

So if you could stand at the back of your piano, and for each hitch pin, write down L or T, depending on which it is, that would help him. From the second photo, it looks like your piano ends the tenor section with: ...L,L,L, and starts the next section T,L,L...
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 12:31 PM

Actually friends, I need the section that is beneath the wound strings. I know it's a little tougher to photograph, but that would be great, as would the "porthole" that contains the hitch pins for the lowermost strings in that section. As to the serial #, the CC's used a different numbering system. I found mine as I wet sanded that triangular area of the plate. Mine was 01605. There are no other markings from the factory on either the case or the action. The number on the case parts is a 4 digit, 4097 if memory serves and that would translate to a piano made in the late 1800's which this is decidedly not because I was told a story by faculty members of going to the M&H factory when they selected this piano in 1966. (I just rechecked and it was '66 not '65.)
Thanks, John
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 02:23 PM

At John's request I took some pics of mine, and it is the tenor section. Yes, it's tricky to photograph and I haven't sent them to him or posted them here...yet.

Below is the stringing, at least as it was done when rebuilt by Sam Camilleri in 1985.

What I can say is that there are 16 hitch pins between the plate struts. Only the pin for the highest note is tied; the rest are looped.

Also part of this section, there are 6 pins visible through the left rear sound hole. These are all looped.

Hope this is helpful, and that I haven't misunderstood anything.
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 06:51 PM

So it looks like I have a pretty good date then. 1966 seems right, and wow only 2 numbers apart. The one comment I received about build quality was that the soundboard was not as tight grained as he would have expected. Just wondering if you noticed that as well. I'm not sure if it makes that much of a difference, but my tech today was very pleased with the sound and the results. As for the hitch pins, they are all looped just as RealPlayer has stated.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/26/13 11:15 PM

Thanks for your help folks. It seems that the plate structure is fairly identical, though 30 some years apart. One more question. That tied string(tied to the first of 16 hitch pins) is actually the 2nd unison in that section. The first unison is actually quite hidden UNDER the strut. Is it another tied string and then a loop? When I talked with Bruce Clark, he suggested mocking it up with thread and working my way back from the other end until something appeared wrong and then rectifying the discrepancy which is what I spent the morning doing. I worked my way back within a couple of unisons of where that tied string should have been and it seemed likely that that is what should have been there. My only notes on the original stringing was that the first unison in the section was tied. What I'm trying to discern is if somehow I missed the fact that there were two tied strings, one of those 16 plus another under the strut. It would have been kind of tough to miss because it is such a pain to access under that strut. I would have thought that I would have remembered removing it.

Thanks again!
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 09:41 AM

Wow, that's weird. I'll have to take a look and see if I can find another string termination hidden under the strut.
Posted by: ando

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 11:34 AM

Maybe this is a dumb question, but does it matter that much how the original stringing was done. As long as it is strung with good technique, won't it be pretty much the same result? Especially if the part in question is invisible. Is this mainly an "originality" concern?
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 11:36 AM

OK, after careful consideration and despite the shop being 40 degrees, I think I have figured it out. The "hitch pin" under the left side of the strut cannot be a hitch pin because if it is there is no way to make the agraffes and hitch pins work out numerically without having another tied string further down the concourse. That "hitch pin" must function as a string guide for the single tied string at the beginning of the tenor section. That way, things "work". Anyhow, it's my solution and I'm sticking with it in the absence of any other ideas. This is not likely easily viewed with the lid on, but if you get out a flashlight and look under the strut, you will hopefully see what I believe is a string guide. I'd be glad to hear from you guys if you can. I need to go teach, but I'll be back in the afternoon in case you have a chance to look under the strut.
Thanks,John
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 12:28 PM

Hi, John (and others).

I checked under that strut (on the treble side of the tenor section) and there is indeed a hitch pin there, and it has a looped string over it. I am not sure what a string guide is.

Now, I have located one other tied string. It is the first (lowest in pitch) hitch pin in the highest treble section.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 12:59 PM

There are some pianos that have 2 pins for one looped string, particularly near the lowest bass, where one side of the string is on one note and the other is on the next, and those strings are far apart at the bass. The string is looped around one of the pins, and the other guides the string to the next note. However, whenever you have that arrangement, there is also the possibility of having one looped string and one tied string on both of those notes.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 03:50 PM

Ando, it's not just for originality sake. I will make the assumption rightly or wrongly that Mason&Hamlin had a clue and hence the stringing scale should be at a minimum reasonably acceptable. The problem is that you don't want to end up short of hitch pins or having them unused.If you are short....well it won't work. If you end up with spares...it looks like YOU don't have a clue or the manufacturer made a mistake.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 05:08 PM

OK folks, there is actually a third option, It IS possible that all three of the strings will be tied on the first unison. That is, there are two hitch pins under the strut(the one that I tentatively identified as a string rest) and then the third string in the first unison would go to that first of 16 hitch pins. Only the first hitch pin would be optimal, the other two quasi-parallel, but certainly within the scope of acceptability in production. Swarth, yours is closest in age. What do you see under the strut? Are there two tied strings or......
Thanks, John
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/27/13 10:36 PM

Ok, the best that I can tell the note under the strut is G3 and it is a single hitch pin and tied. Two pins are tied at A#6/B6. At the last strut G#6 there is one last tie.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 01:17 AM

OK, the note under the strut is indeed G3. Of the three strings, which one is tied? Notice at this juncture that where you have a tie, Joe has a loop. Are the other two strings looped and if so, where are they looped? I can't tell really anything from your pix. The two strings on the right in the next unison to the left of G3 should have a loop on the second hitch pin of those 16 we were talking about previously. Is this the case? Otherwise, you will have to have some tied strings further down. Is that what you have?

Sorry to be a pain, but this is actually getting interesting.
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 03:04 AM

The unisons start at F2 and they go to the 6 hitch pins that sit off in the port hole. All of these are looped. After that strut we then have 16 pins again all looped before we get to the next strut. Under that strut is the tied hitch pin on the 3rd string of G3 (farthest right). Moving on we have 27 hitch pins until the next strut. All of these are looped. Then 28 pins of which the 3rd string of A#6 is tied and the first string of B6 is also tied. These are pins #14 & 15 of this section. The last section has 26 pins of which the first is tied (first string of G#6).

Hopefully you can understand the way I've described it as the whole thing was rather confusing at first. But I think I'm beginning to see the light.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 07:40 AM

Thanks Swarth, it's all clearly muddy to me now! I will assume that yours has been restrung at some point? Have a great Thanksgiving wherever you are and whatever you do!
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 11:31 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. I'll take some pictures after all the Turkey and hopefully you can see exactly what he did. It was restrung and it's been home since August after a complete rebuild.
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 11:44 AM

This being Thanksgiving with a lot to do, I'm not sure I'll get another look at the stringing today. But tomorrow at the latest. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/28/13 12:19 PM

Joe, take it easy and enjoy the day. I sure won't be out there doing any more pondering, and thanks for the effort.

John
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/29/13 02:26 PM

Hi, I'm copying what I also wrote to John privately. Swarth, it looks like my stringing may be a bit different from yours.

First, definitions. Since the tenor doesn't have a separate bridge, I've been calling "tenor" that section between the struts, F2 to G3. Where the dampers are, you can see all three strings of each unison, but as your eye follows the strut toward the rear, the back part of G3 becomes invisible because of the plate construction.

The tied string is the leftmost string of the three that comprise G3. It's pin #16 if you count left to right. The other two are looped around the next pin, the one sort of hidden beneath the strut.

I tried to see something like a string guide, but didn't find a separate more vertical pin or post. There is an element of the plate strut where it meets the horizontal plate but I don't think it acts as a string guide. Of course, it's impossible to really see anything under there. I slid a strip of card stock beneath the strut in that area and it didn't hit anything.

I hope that helps, but I know it's tricky to write about this stuff and be clear. A good writing exercise.

Incidentally I noticed a stringing anomaly in the treble section too. Between Bb 5 and B5, the loop goes around TWO adjacent pins. Hmm.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Mason &Hamlin CC2 tenor section stringing - 11/30/13 10:07 AM

Folks, I thank you all for your input. I have a pretty fair notion of what my next move will be. Hopefully it will be strung by tomorrow PM.
Thanks again!